Youth unemployment falls globally, but quality jobs scare: ILO

Updated 2017-11-21 13:32:12 Xinhua

There is a persisting overall trend of insufficient good jobs for young people seeking work, who are estimated to account for over 35 percent of the unemployed worldwide in 2017, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Monday.

Despite a significant fall in youth unemployment since the height of the global economic crisis, persistent unemployment and a lack of quality job opportunities continue to hamper young people's quest for decent work, the ILO said.

While the global youth unemployment rate stabilized at 13.0 percent in 2016, it is expected to rise slightly to 13.1 per cent this year, the ILO's Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017 report showed.

The estimated figure of 70.9 million unemployed youth in 2017 is an important improvement from the crisis peak of 76.7 million in 2009, but the number is expected to rise by a further 200,000 in 2018, reaching a total of 71.1 million.

"Addressing these persistent labor market and social challenges faced by young women and men is crucial, not only for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth but also for the future of work and societal cohesion," said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy.

Globally, sizeable increases in youth unemployment rates observed between 2010 and 2016 in Northern Africa, the Arab states, and Latin America and the Caribbean have been offset by improvements in youth labor markets in Europe, Northern America and sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall economic growth continues to be disconnected from employment growth, and economic instability threatens to reverse observed gains in youth employment, the ILO said.

The youth-to-adult unemployment ratio has barely changed over the past decade, illustrating ingrained and extensive drawbacks for young people in the labor market.

The report also highlighted the continued vulnerabilities of young women in the labor market.

In 2017, the global rate of young women's labor force participation is 16.6 percentage points lower than that of young men.

Unemployment rates of young women are also significantly higher than those of young men, and the gender gap in the rate of young people not in employment, education or training is even wider. Globally, the female rate is 34.4 percent, compared to 9.8 percent for males.

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