Unemployment: How does Australia compare?

There’s no hiding the fact that unemployment, both youth and general, is a serious problem in Australia. It’s not just an issue here, however. Newspaper headlines around the world lament the issues their countries face with joblessness and poor economic conditions. We thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at how Australia’s unemployment record compares to joblessness worldwide.

unemployment how does Australia compare?

How does Australia compare?

To do this, we’ve studied data supplied by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). There are 35 OECD countries, and the organisation regularly publishes reports on the economic conditions of its members. Their most recent unemployment data is illuminating.

In terms of general unemployment, Australia (which has an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent), is 17th, behind a range of European countries, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand. The OECD country with the lowest unemployment is Iceland, with only 2.7 per cent jobless. At the other end of the scale, South Africa has the worst unemployment rate (27.2 per cent), followed by Greece (23.2 per cent).

Australia fared slightly better with youth unemployment, although the rates of youth unemployment in all of the OECD countries are much higher. Australia is 14th on this scale with a youth unemployment rate of 12.7 per cent. This is ahead of the UK (13 per cent) and New Zealand (13.2 per cent), but behind the United States. Japan had the lowest rate (5.2 per cent), while South Africa and Greece fared the worst (53.3 per cent and 47.4 per cent respectively).

Australia falls in the middle for both youth and general unemployment.

Middle of the pack

Australia came middle of the pack in terms of both general and youth unemployment. This is despite the fact that our government has much better economic conditions than many of the countries we fell behind – Mexico and Israel, for instance. The rates of youth unemployment in all of the OECD countries were far higher than general unemployment, and this is something that needs to be addressed head on by the Australian government.

In the mean time, organisations such as Talent Rise are doing all they can to help Australia’s youth unemployment crisis.


Talent RISE is a foundation we set up to unite tech professionals around the world to provide real world solutions to youth unemployment. If you’re an employer and are wondering how you can help the crisis, look no further than Talent Rise. We’ve created partnerships with a wide range of employers to provide job placement and work opportunities. We also do sponsorship and fundraiser events, meaning you’ll get your name out there as an ethical business. This could include donations, such as laptops for students who need them for training programmes.

We set up education programmes to help get young people back into work.

We believe education is one of the most important ways to get young people back into work. That’s why we partner with schools and employers to find out which skills are most in demand and then create training programmes based around those skills.

We also have a range of programmes to help equip young people with the confidence and skills needed when looking for work. This includes assistance with:

  • writing your CV
  • getting you the necessary education and developing skills for work
  • mentoring
  • inspiring you with Talent Rise events
  • internship and job placements
  • laptops and equipment

If you’re a young person looking for work, or an employer who wants to do something about the unemployment crisis, Talent RISE offers a variety of programmes to help. For more information, give the team a call today.