Salvation Army Estimates 1,500,000 Unemployed Competing for 150,000 Jobs

Yes, the issue of unemployment is heavily stigmatised. I have come to see how propaganda works when it doesn’t generate wealth.  We lose our humanity through the greed of our insecurity. We as a society are not honest in our projections onto the unemployed, believing baseless mantras by those who have too much contrasted by those scraping out a living.  I am on no income and I have no home.  I am observing this experience.  There is nothing like experience to awaken oneself to the reality on the ground.  We definitely have enough to share given the $200 billion earmarked for arms industry.  There needs to be an audit undertaken on government expenditure and insight into the influencers of government that moves them away from social welfare or equity in our society.  I find this fascinating.

The Salvation Army website has a great deal of information.  Their statement of 1.5 million chasing 150,000 jobs says it all.  So when we hear statements of ‘bludgers’, ‘get a job’, ‘lazy’ we can be sure ignorance makes that cry.  I do smile as I know the global economy is collapsing so those yelling out this may find themselves in similar predicaments when the ice caps melt given industrialisation that is extracting way too much from the planet.  I actually feel good about not having anything as I don’t take from the earth, I am working on giving more of myself in deed rather than greed.  

I found this article as I am looking for free food as I know my money is nearly out.  Am I panicking? not at all, I find it really interesting as I am testing life to see what happens.  I work full time for the community and I see life as my payment. I no longer equate my wealth with money which I regard as a tool but not the real wealth in my life.  My experience and happiness is my real wealth. However, having said that I know people are suffering as they experience the inequality which the Salvation Army have stated, this is the real poverty and structural violence in respect of access to what the rest of the community take for granted. I am definitely in harmony with the Salvos intention of a more compassionate society, I would call this true generosity as you give it you expand the pie in truth. Empowerment is the key.

Saving lives everyday

The St Vincent de Paul Society of Australia is working to shape a more just and compassionate society. We do this by standing in solidarity with people who are living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage.

What Vinnies does

  • Unemployment and underemployment

We believe that empowering people, not blaming them, is the answer to combating the poverty that affects one in eight Australians. Vinnies assists people who are unemployed or underemployed by conducting home visits, and providing company and assistance with food and utility bills. But it saddens us to see people living on the Newstart Allowance forced into poverty rather than helped back in to the workforce. 

There are around 1.5 million unemployed and underemployed people competing for 150,000 job vacancies. Neither Work-for-the-Dole nor absurd levels of compliance and cruelty will address labour market conditions, especially in geographic areas of high unemployment.  

Vinnies calls on the Government to implement a Jobs Plan to cut poverty, and address the structural drivers of unemployment and improve the pathways to employment through training.   A Jobs Plan that includes an immediate increase in the Newstart Allowance payment by a minimum of $50 a week and the appropriate indexation of payment rates would help people into work rather than forcing them to live in poverty. Read our submissions to government inquiries on the Extent of Income Inequality in Australia and on the Review of Australia’s Welfare System.  In response to welfare recipients losing up to $8.80 a week a fortnight, owing to a 2016 budget decision to remove a supplement originally introduced in 2013 as carbon tax compensation for people on the Newstart allowance, pensions and family payments, we issued this media statement on 22 August 2016.

  • Cost of Living

Recognising people’s need to be heard is critical to the success of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia. We pride ourselves on providing a hand up, not a hand out. This involves really listening to the people who have been pushed to the margins of our society and who are struggling with the rising cost of living. Again, Vinnies provides emergency relief in the short term and financial counselling for people, but we maintain the problems lies in greater structural issues such as changes in the energy market and the way of the cost of living is measured. Vinnies has campaigned for the Cost of Living Index to be measured against the Relative Price Index opposed to the Consumer Price Index, which we believe is not an accurate representation of inflation. Cost of living pressures would also be eased if access to public housing was increased, the issue of housing affordability addressed and the Rent Assistance payment increased to enable people to remain in the private rental market.

Find out more about Vinnies research work into energy prices and relative price index.

  • Related issues

Pay day lending: Vinnies has campaigned for reforms to the pay day lending sector that would protect the most financially vulnerable in our society from onerous debt repayment requirements. Exploitative business practices can in many instances send financially vulnerable people into a perilous debt spiral from which they never recover.

Get Involved

  • Read Paul’s story of surviving poverty or these personal accounts of people experiencing severe cost of living pressures.
  • Donate or volunteer your time at a Vinnies shop or donate funds to our accommodation and support services around Australia. 

Learn more





Mohandas Gandhi

“My life is my message.”