Are Youth Carrying a Heavy Share of Burden on Global Jobs Crisis?


With 30 million people have been added to the unemployed since the 2008 financial crisis, the young generation carry a heavy share of the burden of the crises.

Reports say youth jobless rates are nearly three times that of adults.

According to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), nearly 40 million more have stopped looking for employment in recent years.

A view inside the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)’s panel discussion on innovations in promoting youth employment, part of the special event, Breaking new ground: Partnerships for more and better jobs for young people. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

To address tthe impact of the crisis on the world’s young people, a United Nations forum in Geneva focusing on the global jobs crisis and its impact on youth kicked off today.

Nearly 5,000 delegates attended the conference.

At the conference, ILO’s Director-General, Juan Somavia stressed the need time for a policy rethink.

He noted that some 45-50 million new jobs are needed each year, over the next five years, just to get back to the pre-crisis job situation.

Mr. Somavia highlighted in the conference, in particular, the impact of the crisis on the world’s young people, noting that “we have been failing our young women and men for some time now.”

He cites that generally, youth jobless rates are nearly three times that of adults.

He reports that many millions worldwide who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work.

Furthermore, those who do get a job are likely to be working part time, on temporary contracts, in the informal economy, or precarious work, he said.

“There is little intergenerational solidarity when the adult generation who formulates policy, lets the young generation carry a heavy share of the burden of the crises.” -Mr. Somavia

To involve youth in the ILO conference discussions, the agency held 46 consultations with some 5,000 youth representatives across regions, culminating in the World Youth Forum held last week in Geneva, ahead of the conference.

Discussions over the next two weeks will also focus on the elaboration of a recommendation on the issue of social protection.

ILO reports that only 20 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack any coverage at all, which actively promotes policies and provides assistance to countries to help extend adequate levels of social protection to all members of society.

Mr. Somavia also stresses that establishing social protection floors, respecting the diversity of country situations, is about promoting human dignity

Social protection is a basic contribution to reduce poverty, to empower people and to expand aggregate economic demand, he stressed.

“It is a commitment to a decent society, a platform that enables hundreds of millions of women, men and children to progress on a strong footing.” -Mr. Somavia

On 2011, a new report by the United Nations labour agency warned of a youth jobs crisis in both developed and developing countries, with young people aged 15 to 24 finding it increasingly difficult to obtain decent employment and future prospects are dim.

As it released its “Global Employment Trends for Youth: 2011 Update,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) notes that the recent global economic crisis led to a “substantial” increase in youth unemployment rates, reversing earlier favourable trends over the past decade.

At the peak of the crisis period in 2009, the global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record, rising from 11.8 per cent to 12.7 per cent between 2008 and 2009 – an unprecedented increase of 4.5 million unemployed youth worldwide.

The average increase of the pre-crisis period (1997-2007) was less than 100,000 persons per year.

The report says the absolute number of unemployed youth fell slightly since its peak in 2009 – from 75.8 million to 75.1 million in late 2010, a drop of 12.7 per cent – and is expected to decline to 74.6 million in 2011, or 12.6 per cent.

The agency warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers and growing frustration amid millions of youth worldwide who are facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.