Report sounds regional youth jobless alarm

AAP

More than one-third of unemployed Australians are young people aged between 15 and 24, new data shows.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence report reveals more than 264,000 jobless young people make up 36 per cent of the country's unemployed, with those in outer suburban or regional areas often the worst off.

"The story of youth employment in our prosperous country has become a tale of two Australias," said the report, released on Monday.

It pointed to outback Queensland as county's worst youth unemployment hotspot, with a rate of 67.1 per cent in the year to January.

The NSW Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven areas both followed with 28.7 per cent, and Tasmania and the NSW Murray with 21.8 and 21.5 per cent, respectively.

Of the 87 regions examined, 55 had a youth unemployment rate of more than 11 per cent in January.

"While some parts of the nation offer young people abundant opportunity, in other areas Australia's young job hunters are struggling for their chance," the Brotherhood of St Laurence said.

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT HOTSPOTS:

* Outback Queensland - 67.1pc

* Southern Highlands; Shoalhaven (NSW) - 28.7pc

* Wide Bay (Qld) - 27.7pc

* Southeast Tasmania - 21.8pc

REGIONS WITH LOWEST YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT:

* Inner Brisbane - 5.8pc

* Ballarat (Vic) - 6.6pc

* Sutherland (NSW) - 6.9pc

* Hume (Vic) - 7.3pc

* Darwin - 7.4pc