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Youth Unemployment Hits Women The Hardest

"Add to that the fact young female graduates earn 7% less than their male counterparts, and it’s not a positive picture."

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This pushed the youth unemployment rate from 12.3% to 13.3% – over double the national average (5.9%).

For young males 4,649 full-time roles were created, and 6,149 part-time jobs were lost.

Graphic designer Stephanie De Palo knows how hard it can be to find and keep employment in Sydney's competitive job market.

She left TAFE to take on her first full-time job at 19. But two years later she was made redundant.

"They chose me [to be made redundant] because I was six months pregnant, and by that stage I wasn't going to get another job," the 26-year-old told BuzzFeed News.

"Then I was a single parent and getting back into the job market was really hard."

"I was overqualified for the position, but at that point I just needed a job because I had a child to support," De Palo said. "I didn't make a big deal about being underpaid and not getting paid my super at the time."

It took another job and another redundancy before she found a position in a female team that understood De Palo's need for flexible working conditions.

"Now I run my own business from home and freelance because I have found that is the easiest way to work as a woman with kids, and I'm lucky enough to have one client who gives me a steady stream of work," she said.

Youth career coaching company TwoPointZero chief executive Steve Shepherd said there was already a "significant imbalance" between genders in the youth labour market, with 33,153 more young men than young women currently employed.

"Add to that the fact young female graduates earn 7% less than their male counterparts, and it’s not a positive picture," he said.

There has also been a 1% decline in young women's participation in the workforce, he said.

"This decline could indicate they are losing faith in the job market and are pulling out of it altogether."

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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