Global Economic Crisis Hurting One-Third of Youth

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About 1 in 3 young people worldwide are currently not working, training or in school. Find out what can be done to turn the situation around.

Today’s young people, the largest youth generation in history, make up 40 percent of the world population.

That amounts to 1.8 billion people — and about one-third of them are currently not working, training or in school.

There are currently only enough jobs to employ less than half of the world’s young people — defined as people age 15 to 29 — according to a new report from Solutions for Youth Employment. This global coalition was established by entities like the International Labour Organization and World Bank Group to improve young people’s access to work opportunities.

John Irons, board member at Solutions for Youth Employment as well as managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, states in a news release:

“Global youth unemployment is a growing global challenge. When young workers are not able to connect to the labor market, it profoundly impacts their ability to participate fully in the economy, and threatens their social and economic future.”

Other statistics from the report include that:

  • Young people are up to four times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
  • The income of up to one-third of employed young people is below national poverty guidelines.
  • One in four young people cannot find jobs that pay more than $1.25 per day, an international threshold for extreme poverty.

Causes for employment struggles among youth include that they have been disproportionately affected by global recessions because they hold a large percentage of temporary jobs. Inadequate skills and a mismatch of skills and education are also factors.

Solutions for Youth Employment aims to help fight the problem by focusing on four areas:

  • Digital age impact: The technological revolution is fundamentally changing work and relationships, but this shift is unevenly felt across the world.
  • Skills gap: In order to fill the skills gap, training opportunities for men, women and those at the lowest end of the spectrum need to be improved.
  • Entrepreneurship and self-employment: Worldwide, youth are 1.6 times more likely than adults to display entrepreneurial activity, which needs to be bolstered.
  • Quality jobs: Quantitative unemployment measurements do not reflect quality of employment, and deeper understandings of today’s working conditions is required.

Do you worry about how the effects of a high youth unemployment rate could affect the economy at large? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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