News Column

Youth Jobless Rate at Record Levels in Developed Countries

May 8, 2013

The unemployment rate among young people in developed economies rose to 18.1 percent last year, the UN labor body said Wednesday in Geneva, noting that this rate was equal to a record for the last 20 years last reached in 2010.

Although youth unemployment in the European Union and other advanced economies is expected to fall slightly to 17.9 per cent this year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its annual youth report that it would sink below 17 per cent only by 2016.

Industrialized and sub-Saharan African countries are the only economies where the ILO projects an improvement in the coming five years for people under the age of 25.

"It is not a good time to be a young person looking for a job, and prospects don't look like they are getting better," senior ILO economist Theodore Sparreboom said, pointing to the slowdown in the global recovery.

Some 73.4 million young people are expected to be without a job this year, up from last year's 72.9 million.

The global jobless rate rose to 12.4 per cent last year and will reach 12.6 per cent in 2013, the ILO predicted.

The organization highlighted that an increasing number of youths find only low-quality or temporary work.

A quarter in Europe had only part-time jobs and more than 40 per cent had short-term contracts in 2011, according to the latest available data.

In poor countries, many youths find themselves working irregular, underpaid jobs. In countries like Peru, Egypt, Malawi, and Cambodia, more than 40 per cent of young people are part of the irregular job market.

The region with the highest youth unemployment was the Middle East, with 28.3 per cent, followed by North Africa with 23.7 per cent in 2012.

The situation was much more positive in East Asia and South Asia, where less than 10 per cent of the young population was without a job.

In Latin American and the Caribbean, the rate fell below 13 per cent last year, but is expected to exceed that level this year and climb over the coming five years.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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