Covid 19 pandemic hit the young people the hardest and recovery in youth employment is still lagging, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization(ILO).
The Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022: Investing in transforming futures for young people report explains that the pandemic exacerbated the numerous labour market challenges facing those aged between 15 and 24 years. They experienced a much higher percentage loss in employment than adults since early 2020, the report added.
EMPLOYMENT; THE NUMBERS
As per the ILO analysis, the total number of unemployed youths would to reach 73 million in 2022, a slight improvement from 2021 (75 million). But this is six million above the pre-pandemic level of 2019, the report said.
The report mentioned that young women are worse off than young men. They showed a much lower employment-to-population ratio (EPR). In 2022, 27.4 per cent of young women globally are projected to be in employment, compared to 40.3 per cent of young men. This means that young men are almost 1.5 times more likely than young women to be employed.
EMPLOYMENT; REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
The ILO said that high income countries are the only ones expected to achieve youth unemployment rates close to those of 2019 by the end of 2022. In the other country income groups, the ILO said that the rates would remain more than one percentage point above their pre-crisis values.
“In Europe and Central Asia (ECA) the unemployment rate of young people is projected to be 1.5 percentage points higher than the world average in 2022 – 16.4 per cent versus 14.9 per cent, respectively. There has been substantial progress in reducing youth unemployment – for both women and men – but the actual and potential shocks of the war in Ukraine are highly likely to affect the results,” the ILO said.
The unemployment rate of young people in the Asia and Pacific region is projected to reach 14.9 per cent in 2022, the same as the global average, although there are important divergences between subregions and countries.
In Latin American countries the youth unemployment rate is still worrying, projected at 20.5 per cent in 2022. Historically, young women’s unemployment rates have been higher than young men’s, but the crisis exacerbated this trend. The picture is radically different in North America, where the youth unemployment rates is projected to be below world average levels, at 8.3 per cent, the report said.
In Africa, a youth unemployment rate of 12.7 per cent masks the fact that many youths have chosen to withdraw from the labour market altogether. Over one in five young people in Africa were not in employment, education, or training (NEET) in 2020, and the trend has been deteriorating.
The Arab States have the highest and the fastest growing unemployment rate of young people worldwide, projected at 24.8 per cent in 2022. The situation is worse for young women in the region, with 42.5 per cent unemployment in 2022, which is almost three times as high as the global average for young women (14.5 per cent).
The report in the report pointed out the young people would benefit from the expansion of green and blue (ocean resources and their sustainable use) economies. According to the report, an additional 8.4 million jobs for young people could be created by 2030 through the implementation of green and blue policy measures.
Targeted investments in digital technologies could also absorb high numbers of young workers. The report estimates that achieving universal broadband coverage by 2030 could lead to a net increase in employment of 24 million new jobs worldwide, of which 6.4 million would be taken by young people. Investments in care sectors (in health and in education) benefit young people in four key respects: they improve young people’s employment prospects; they make it easier for young women and men with family responsibilities to remain in the labour force; they promote the well-being of young people by expanding education and training opportunities and catering for young people’s health; and, as a result of all the above, they help lower youth NEET rates, especially among young women. The report estimates that investments in care sectors would create 17.9 million more jobs for young people by 2030, in care sectors (14.4 million jobs) and in other sectors (3.4 million jobs).