Grim outlook for global youth unemployment, ILO warns

Featured - September 16th, 2012
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The United Nation’s International Labour Organisation projected a surge in global youth unemployment over the next five years, reports the Financial Times.

Unemployment amongst the young – people aged between 15 and 24 – would rise from 12.7% this year to 12.9% by 2017 as the impact of the euro debt crisis reaches emerging economies’ shores. “Young unemployed people around the world may not see their situation improve soon,” the ILO warned in its Global Employment Outlook.

Though youth unemployment in developed countries is expected to drop from 17.5% this year to 15.6% in 2017, the main reason would be because the youth had lost hope of getting a job and simply left the market. Sub-Saharan Africa will see a slight drop. The rates will rise in Asia and the Middle East and will remain above 25% or rise further in north Africa and the Middle East. Youth unemployment will remain static in Latin America.

The grim outlook raised concerns for the “creation of a lost generation” and prompted the ILO to call for stronger measures to curb its impact to the world’s youth. Incoming ILO director-general Guy Ryder told the FT, youth unemployment is “a socially unacceptable situation and, to a certain degree, a danger to our society”. Ryder called for “rebirth” of active labour market policies urging governments, employers and trade union to place utmost priority to youth unemployment. Ryder lauded India’s rural employment guarantee program, which provides a number of days’ work to the unemployed.