ONE in two unemployed young people stay on the dole for more than six months and one in four for a year, new data reveals.
And in signs of a growing welfare trap, the number of young people stuck on the dole has increased in the past year.
As the Government prepares to roll out tough new “learn or earn” rules on under-30s, the figures show a growing number of people who stand to be hit by the crackdown.
Official figures prepared by the Federal Government reveal about 47 per cent of unemployed people aged under 30 receive Newstart for more than six months.
A year earlier, about 43 per cent of young unemployed people stayed on the benefits for more than six months.
The national data suggests just over more than half of young unemployed people will miss out on any dole payments when the Government imposes a six-month waiting period next year.
But if the trend of increasing time spent on benefits continues, even more unemployed people could be affected.
Even after a year on Newstart, 26 per cent of under-30s were still unemployed as at September last year.
This figure increased from about 22 per cent who were stuck on the dole for more 12 months a year earlier. Only about 30 per cent of young people find work within three months of receiving Newstart, down from 35 per cent in September 2012.
The results are likely to be worse in unemployment hot spots of Queensland such as Cairns, Moreton Bay North, Ipswich and Brisbane suburbs of Indooroopilly, Kenmore, Centenary, Sunnybank, Mount Gravatt and Holland Park.
Youth unemployment has soared by between 43 per cent and 88 per cent in these areas over the past two years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence has warned of a “generational crisis” in these parts of the state.
About 270,000 young Australians are currently on unemployment benefits, according to the Federal Government says.
From January 1, unemployed people under 30 will be forced to wait six months before they can access Newstart or Youth Allowance.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said the dole was seen as a “lifestyle choice” by too many young people.
“The income support system should not make unemployment a viable, and in some cases more attractive, option for young people,” Mr Andrews said.
The Minister warned the longer people remained on benefits, the more they would struggle to find work.