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Trends in poverty among unemployed people

PovertyHow has it changed?

This graph displays trends in poverty among people without paid work, by family type and payment according to the 50% median income poverty line and as a percentage of all unemployed people, taking into account the cost of housing. It shows that poverty among unemployed people was consistently higher than the population-wide poverty rate from 1999-00 to 2015-16. The poverty rate among unemployed single people was particularly high, at 90% at both the beginning and end of this period, reflecting the level of Newstart and Youth Allowances. Recipients of Newstart Allowance also had elevated poverty rates, albeit lower than those for single unemployed people. The differences between the two groups is family status (Newstart recipients includes those who are partnered) and employment status (approximately 1 in 5 Newstart recipients had part-time employment). There was also a marked increase in poverty amongst Newstart recipients from its already high level of 61% in 1999-00 to 78% in 2015-16. This was caused by the lack of increases in this payment above inflation level, along with growth in average housing costs. A notable feature of trends in poverty among unemployed single parents is the sharp rise from 34% to 59% at the end of the period between 2013-14 and 2015-16.

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