Global youth unemployment last year rose by 13.1 per cent, an increase from 12.9 per cent recorded at the end of 2015, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said. This was contained in ILO’s latest research report titled: “World Employment and Social Outlook for Youth 2016: Trends for Youths.” The report quoted ILO Deputy Director-
General for Policy, Ms Deborah Greenfield, as saying that global number of unemployed youths would rise by half a million to reach 71 million in the first such increase in three years. According to Greenfield, “Of greater concern is the share and number of young people, often in emerging and developing countries, who live in extreme or moderate poverty in spite of having a job.
“In fact, 156 million or 37.7 per cent of working youths are in extreme or moderate poverty as compared with 26 per cent of working adults.” She said the alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high levels of youths, who still live in poverty, show how difficult it will be to end poverty globally by 2030. Greenfield said in the report that there was need for countries to redouble efforts at achieving sustainable economic growth and decent work. She noted that the report also highlighted wide disparities between young women and men in the labour market, adding that there was need for ILO member-states and social partners to be addressed urgently.
The disturbing research also quoted ILO Senior Economist Mr. Steven Tobin as saying that the labour force participation rate for young men stood at 53.9 per cent, compared with 37.3 per cent for young women. Tobin, who is the lead author of the report, said that the disparity between young men and young women represented a gap of 16.6 per cent. “The challenge is particularly acute in Southern Asia, Arab States and Northern Africa, where female youth participation rates are respectively, 32.9, 32.3 and 30.2 per cent lower than those of male youth in 2016,’’ Tobin said. He, however, said that unemployment increases were driven by the slowdown in emerging economies.
Tobin said that global economic growth in 2016 was estimated at 3.2 per cent, 0.4 per cent lower than the figure predicted in late 2015. He added that this was driven by a deeper than expected recession in some key emerging commodity exporting countries and stagnating growth in some developed countries.