Youth unemployment crisis continues
The economic crisis abruptly ended the gradual decline in global youth unemployment
rates during the period 2002–07. Since 2007 the global youth unemployment rate has started rising
again, and the increase between 2008 and the height of the economic crisis in 2009 effectively
wiped out much of the gains made in previous years. Globally, the youth unemployment rate has
remained close to its crisis peak in 2009.
Large increases were experienced in particular by the Developed Economies & European
Union, Central & South-Eastern Europe (non-EU ) & CIS, Latin America & the Caribbean
and South Asia. In the Developed Economies & European Union, as well as in South Asia, little
progress has been made in rolling back the impact of the global economic crisis. In North Africa,
the youth unemployment rate has increased sharply following the Arab Spring, rising by almost 5
percentage points between 2010 and 2011 and adding to an already very high level of youth
unemployment in this region as well as the Middle East.
Economic crisis and youth labour force participation
The crisis-induced withdrawal from the labour force amounts to 6.4 million young
people worldwide, and is particularly pronounced in the Developed Economies & European Union.
Pressure on young job seekers will mount further when those young people that have been delaying
their entry into the labour market will return to activity, and start searching for work. In
contrast, the youth participation rate in Central & South-Eastern Europe (non-EU ) & CIS is
higher than expected on the basis of pre-crisis trends, which is likely to be partly
Temporary employment and part-time work: Transition or trap?
In developed economies, youth are increasingly employed in non-standard jobs and the
transition to decent work continues to be postponed. The growth of temporary employment and
part-time work in the past decade, in particular since the global economic crisis suggests that
this work is increasingly taken up because it is the only option available. For example, in the
European Union youth part-time employment as well as youth temporary employment has grown faster
than adult part-time and temporary employment both before and during the economic crisis.
The trend towards an increasing incidence of temporary contracts has fuelled the debate over
labour market flexibility in general, and labour market duality in particular. Although the
evidence on the impact of employment protection legislation (EPL) on aggregate
employment/unemployment levels is inconclusive, EPL could affect the position of particularly
vulnerable labour market groups such as young people.
Education and the labour market
Education and training are essential for young people to enter the labour market successfully
as they increase their potential productivity and employability. In developed economies, education
also serves as a shield against unemployment for many youth, and there is a strong link between
educational attainment and employment outcomes. In particular, individuals with primary education
or less often have the highest unemployment rates, and fare worse than those with higher levels of
education at times of crisis.
However, more human capital development and higher levels of education do not automatically
translate into improved labour market outcomes and more jobs. In developing economies, available
job openings are limited by small formal sectors, and youth do not necessarily possess the right
skills to qualify for the existing openings.Youth employment policies As youth unemployment rates
are projected to remain essentially unchanged in 2012, and most regions face major youth employment
challenges, youth employment policies warrant the highest priority.
For further information, please go to :
Global Employment Trends for Youth
Executive summary of
the 'Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012'