Web Article: Youth Unemployment on the Rise (Shabka)

Benjamin Disraeli once mentioned that the “youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity”. Given an international landscape whereby the international youth unemployment rate is reported to be high and has been fluctuating in a relatively similar range for the past few years – 12.9% (2009) to 13.2% (estimate in 2019) – this situation poses a challenge with regard to the future that the younger generations could bring to society.

According to the standard United Nations (UN) description of youth, they are the “persons between the ages of 15 to 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States”. There are noted slight changes in the age bracket depending on the country’s cultural, institutional and political factors. Moreover, the working definition of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the concept of youth unemployment entails those individuals of working age who are without work during the time being (meaning that the person is neither in paid employment nor in self-employment) but are available for work, and have sought work (the person has actively taken steps in order to have paid employment or to be in self-employment situation).

In the latest report of ILO about youth unemployment entitled Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017, the said organization reported that the youth unemployment rate is on the rise again. Furthermore, the bleakness of the situation is aggravated by the fact that in spite of the young people being employed, they remain to be poor. Youth unemployment rates are observed to be higher than those of adult unemployment; specifically, the youth are three times to be likely unemployed than their adult counterparts. Some other interesting data could be found in the report:

  • Between 1997 and 2017, the youth population grew by 139 million people, while the youth labor force shrank by 34.9 million people.
  • The global youth labor force participation rate has declined in the past 20 years from 55.0 percent to 45.7 percent.
  • Globally, 70.9 million young people are estimated to be unemployed in 2017.
  • The youth unemployment rate is 13.1 percent globally in 2017 – and it is highest in the Arab States, at 30.0 percent.

The full article can be accessed at https://shabka.org/blog/2018/05/22/7802/


Published originally on 22 May 2018 at Shabka

Shabka is Austria’s youngest think-and-do tank at the nexus of conflict and peace analysis as well as foreign, development, and security policy. It is set up as a civil society network, and a hub for passionate talents.

Photo by  Hajran Pambudi from Unsplash

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