Mums and older women the new face of unemployment

The proportion of women over the age of 50 on unemployment has climbed fourfold since 2001 (Bigstock)

Deliberate policies from both sides of politics have resulted in huge numbers of older women and those with young children relying on unemployment benefits, a new report reveals. Source: The Age.

In a report released today, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office found the most likely person to be on JobSeeker before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic was a woman over the age of 45.

The budget office found the make-up of those on unemployment support has changed dramatically since the 1990s recession.

Where once younger men were most likely to need support and typically for less than 12 months, now it is most likely older women, and 71 per cent of them spend more than a year on JobSeeker or the old Newstart payment.

The report found an explosion in the number of people spending years on the unemployment benefit, with 242,800 women on financial support for at least 12 months before this year’s recession, compared to 73,700 women in 2007. In the same time the number of men on the benefit has risen from 34,400 to 217,000.

More than half of all JobSeeker recipients are aged over 45, compared to less than 18 per cent in 2001. The proportion of women over the age of 50 on unemployment has climbed fourfold since 2001. There has also been large increase in women supporting a child on JobSeeker or Newstart, lifting from 7.3 per cent in 2007 to 27.4 per cent in 2019.

The budget office found a string of policies, including the Gillard government’s tightening of parenting payment access, the Howard government’s closure of the parenting payment allowance, and tightening of disability support pension access by both sides of politics had contributed to the large increase in women on assistance.


Mums and older women become the new face of unemployment (By Shane Wright, The Age

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