Teenage unemployment has hit a level not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, despite a slight drop in the country's overall unemployment rate outside Christchurch.


Statistics New Zealand reported yesterday that the national unemployment rate held steady at 6.5 per cent in the three months to June, despite a fall in employment in Christchurch after the February 22 earthquake.


But the unemployment rate for the youngest age group aged 15 to 19 rose by 0.1 percentage points to 27.6 per cent - the highest teenage rate since the official survey began in 1986, and the highest since the 1930s if teenage unemployment followed the same pattern as adult joblessness in earlier years.

しかし、最も若い15歳から19歳のグループの失業率は0.1%上昇し、27.6%に達している - これは1986年からの統計で最も高い10代の失業率で、もし10代の失業が以前の(または当初の時期の)成人の失業と同じパターンになる場合、それは1930年から最も高い失業率になる。

Teenagers' share of the country's total unemployed, which was by far the highest of all developed countries in a survey last month by the New Zealand Institute, rose from 24.3 per cent in June last year to 26.2 per cent this June.


Almost half of all the unemployed in the country (43.8 per cent) are aged under 25.


NZ Institute director Dr Rick Boven said the main reason so many young people were unemployed in New Zealand was that on average they left school sooner than in any other developed country.


"We are not keeping the students engaged in school, so they are leaving early, and we are not providing adequate pathways into work," he said.


But Junior Sheck, 19, who left Otara's Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate at the end of 2009, is still on the dole despite completing Year 13.


He finished a one-year panelbeating course in June, cannot get work as a panelbeater and is willing to do anything.


"I want to do physical work, work that's not sitting around."


He said "quite a few" of the people in the panelbeating course had found work, but he has been handicapped by not having a car.



However Social Development Minister Paula Bennett recently rejected the mayors' call to make contact with every young person after they leave school, and defended the current targeted youth transition services which operate in high-risk areas and contact only young people judged to be at risk.


She noted yesterday that despite the record youth unemployment rate, the number under age 25 who are not in either employment, education or training ("NEET") fell slightly in the past year, from 10.7 per cent in June last year to 9.8 per cent this June.


The 15 to 19 NEET rate dropped from 9.5 per cent to 8.4 per cent, indicating the numbers in education or training increased even faster than the number unemployed and seeking work.


The NEET rate for the 20 to 24 age group fell from 11.9 per cent to 11.1 per cent. NEET rates for both groups peaked last year but are still higher than before the recession.




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