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Youth unemployment getting worse

10 September 2012
Young persons
The spillover of the euro crisis spreads. Jobless rates among young people get worse globally, according to a report from ILO.

Jobless rates among young people will get even worse globally as the spillover of the euro crisis spreads from advanced to emerging economies, according to an ILO paper titled “Global Employment Outlook: Bleak Labour Market Prospects for Youth”.

The impact of the euro crisis is spreading as far as East Asia and Latin America, and worsening the situation for many young jobseekers.

“Ironically, only in developed economies are youth unemployment rates expected to fall in the coming years, but this follows the largest increase in youth unemployment among all regions since the start of the crisis,” says Ekkehard Ernst, lead author of the paper and chief of the ILO’s Employment Trends Unit to ILO News.

The new forecasts show the youth unemployment rate in developed economies dropping gradually, from 17.5 per cent this year to 15.6 per cent in 2017. This is still far higher than the rate of 12.5 per cent registered in 2007, before the crisis struck.

Much of this decline in the jobless rate is not due to improvements in the labour market, but rather to large numbers of young people dropping out of the labour force altogether due to discouragement. These discouraged youth are not counted among the unemployed.
 
Supporting young workers has huge benefits
Even in countries with early signs of a jobs recovery and where new vacancies are opening up, many unemployed youth still find it difficult to land a job. For example, a construction worker whose job fell victim to the housing bust might not have the skills needed in sectors that are hiring.

“This leads to discouragement and rising NEET rates (“neither in employment, education or training”) among young people,” says Ernst.

The ILO's call for action
At its annual conference in June 2012, the ILO adopted a Resolution calling for immediate, targeted and renewed action to tackle the youth employment crisis.

Read the full article and download the report on ILO News.

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