Under the proposals put forward by the budget, job seekers aged under 30 will not be able to receive unemployment benefits for six months after applying for them. Despite not receiving any money during this time, they will be required to prove that they have applied for 40 jobs each month, and failure to do so would result in their benefits waiting period being extended by four weeks.
Following suggestions by Labor and the Greens that the amount of time required for job search activities would exceed the number of waking hours available, the Liberal party has agreed to increase the number of hours in young job seekers’ days from 24 to 26.
There have also been complaints from the business sector that the large number of job seekers — youth unemployment has now hit a 12-year high of 13.1% — will mean that companies will be spending more time conducting job interviews than producing anything.
This has resulted in some economic analysts predicting that there will be a general downturn in the economy but a boom in job placement agencies, and that the majority of unemployed young people will get a job interviewing other unemployed young people. This trend would continue until all unemployed young people had jobs, at which point there would be no more unemployed young people left to interview, resulting in a massive collapse of the job placement industry and widespread youth unemployment.
When this concern was raised with treasurer Joe Hockey at a press conference today, he responded by going to his Happy Place, where all the questions have easy answers and no-one ever complains about being poor.