Young workers have been hit hardest by COVID fallout, says UN labour agency — Global Issues

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the pandemic has caused additional problems for 15- to 24-year-olds, who have suffered “much higher” unemployment than older workers since the health emergency began. Globally announced in early 2020.

Young women struggle more than men to find workwhile Arab countries are expected to have the highest levels of youth unemployment at the end of the year, compared to the global average.

“We know that COVID-19 Martha Newton, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, said. “It shows a number of shortcomings in addressing the needs of young people, especially the most vulnerable first-time job seekers, dropouts, recent graduates with little experience and those who are inactive are not by choice.”

Speaking at the launch of the ILO report, Global Youth Employment Trends 2022: Invest in transforming the future for young people, Ms. Newton said that the proportion of young people without a job, education or training in 2020 has increased to 23.3%.

According to the ILO report, this is up 1.5 percentage points from 2019 and represents levels not seen in at least 15 years.

This group of young people is particularly at risk of seeing their labor market opportunities and outcomes deteriorate in the long term as the ‘scarring’ effects play out, the report notes.

Gender inequality

The report’s findings include the disturbing finding that young women are worse off than men when it comes to job search. This year, it is expected that three in 10 young women globally will be employed, compared with four in 10 young men.

The ILO report said: “The gender gap, which has shown little sign of narrowing over the past two decades, is largest in lower middle-income countries, at 17.3 percentage points, and smallest in low-income countries. high-income countries, at 2.3 percentage points”. mentioned.

Of course only high income countries will recover

The latest labor data scrutinized by the ILO also indicates that only high-income counties are likely to recover youth unemployment “close to 2019 levels” by the end of the year.

In lower-income countries, youth unemployment is projected to remain one percentage point above pre-crisis values.

In AfricaThe continent’s youth unemployment rate of 12.7% masks the fact that many young people have chosen to withdraw from the labor market altogether, the ILO said. It notes that “more than a fifth of young people in Africa are without work, education or training by 2020 and the trend is worsening”.

Young girls in the Central African Republic.  Youth make up 70% of the population in CAR


Young girls in the Central African Republic. Youth make up 70% of the population in CAR

Arab countries has the highest and fastest growing youth unemployment rate worldwide, expected to reach 24.8% by 2022. “The situation is even worse for young women in the region, with 42 .5% unemployment in 2022, almost three times higher than the ILO reported global average for young women (14.5%).

In Europe and Central AsiaThe unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 is expected to be 1.5% higher than in the rest of the world this year (16.4% vs 14.9%). While there has been “significant progress” in reducing youth unemployment for both women and men, the ILO says that the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “have a high probability of influencing the outcome”. “.

While Asia Pacific the region is expected to have 14.9% of young workers still looking for work by the end of the year, in line with the global average, the picture is likely to remain worrisome in the future. Latin Americawhere the expected rate is 20.5%.

“Historically, the unemployment rate for young women is higher than for young men (in Latin American countries), but the crisis has exacerbated this trend,” the ILO report states.

The picture is completely different in North Americahowever, youth and youth unemployment is projected to be at the world average, at 8.3%.

The solution is green and blue

To address this issue, the United Nations labor agency urges governments to implement sustainability green and blue (ocean) policy measures. According to the report, this could create 8.4 million jobs for young people by 2030.

Targeted investments in digital technology can also attract large numbers of young workers, the ILO says. According to the report, by achieving global broadband coverage by 2030, around 24 million new jobs could be created worldwide, of which young workers account for 6.4 million. .

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