More than 85m youth jobless across world
Kathmandu, October 29:
The number of unemployed youth increased strikingly from 74 to 85 million, up by 14.8 per cent between 1995 and 2005, according to a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 rose over the past decade, while more than 300 million youth, or about 25 per cent of the total youth population, are living below the $2 per day poverty line. The Global Employment Trends for Youth, an ILO’s publication estimates that at least 400 million decent and productive employment opportunities — simply put, new and better jobs — will be needed in order to reach the full productive potential of today’s youth.
Unemployed youth make up 44 per cent of the world’s total unemployed despite the fact that their share of the total working-age population aged 15 and over is only 25 per cent. The report also says youth are more than three times as likely to be unemployed than adults.
The relative disadvantage of this phenomenan is more pronounced in developing countries, where youth represent a significantly higher proportion of the labour force across the board in comparison to developed economies.
“Despite increased economic growth, the inability of economies, particularly in such economies to create enough decent and productive jobs is hitting the world’s young especially hard”, said Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General. “Not only are we seeing a growing deficit of decent work opportunities and high levels of economic uncertainty, but this worrying trend threatens to damage on a long term basis the future economic prospects of one of our worlds’ greatest assets — our young men and women.”
The report emphasises that today’s youth face serious vulnerabilities in the world of work and warns that a lack of decent work, if experienced at an early age, may permanently compromise their future employment prospects. The report adds urgency to the UN call for development of strategies aimed at giving young people a chance to maximise their productive potential through decent employment.
Unemployed youth make up 44 per cent of the world’s total unemployed despite the fact that their share of the total working-age population aged 15 and over is only 25 per cent.
“All this is a threat to the development potential of economies”, Somavia said. “Today, we are squandering the economic potential of an enormous percentage of our population, especially in developing countries which can least afford it. Focusing on youth, therefore, is a must for any country.”
The highest regional youth unemployment rate was observed in the Middle East and North Africa at 25.7 per cent. Central and Eastern Europe (non-EU) and CIS had the second highest rate in the world with 19.9 per cent. Sub-Saharan Africa’s rate was 18.1 per cent, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (16.6 per cent), South East Asia and the Pacific (15.8 per cent), the developed economies and European Union (EU) (13.1 per cent), South Asia (10 per cent) and East Asia (7.8 per cent).