New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations labour agency warns of a youth jobs crisis in both developed and developing countries, with young people aged 15 to 24 finding it increasingly difficult to obtain decent employment and future prospects are dim.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its latest report on “Global Employment Trends for Youth: 2011 Update,” that the recent global economic crisis led to a “substantial” increase in youth unemployment rates, reversing earlier favourable trends over the past decade.
At the peak of the crisis period in 2009, the global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record, rising from 11.8 per cent to 12.7 per cent between 2008 and 2009 – an unprecedented increase of 4.5 million unemployed youth worldwide.
The average increase of the pre-crisis period (1997-2007) was less than 100,000 persons per year, according to the report.
The report also said the absolute number of unemployed youth fell slightly since its peak in 2009 – from 75.8 million to 75.1 million in late 2010, a drop of 12.7 per cent – and is expected to decline to 74.6 million in 2011, or 12.6 per cent.
However, this is due more to youth withdrawing from the labour market, rather than finding jobs. This is especially true in the developed economies and the European Union region.
The agency warns of a “scarred” generation of young workers and growing frustration amid millions of youth worldwide who are facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work.
If youth unemployment were examined alone, states the report, one might wrongly guess that young people in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are doing well compared to the developed economies, when in fact the high employment-to-population ratios of youth in the poorest regions mean the poor have no choice but work.
“There are by far more young people around the world that are stuck in circumstances of working poverty than are without work or looking for work,” the report added.
BBN/SSR/AD-20Oct11-11:16 am (BST)