Monday, 18 January 2021

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Youth Unemployment

Youth: the hardest hit by the global financial crisis

coins_Eivind Sætre_norden_orgIn times of economic recession, the labour market contracts and the number of unemployed people rises sharply. But for young people these periods are doubly troubling, not only are they the first targets of job cuts but also their transition from school to the job market becomes almost impossible. This is one of the most significant conclusions of the latest UN World Youth Report launched on 6 February 2012, which included a wide consultation process with youth all over the world.


Mass Immigration to Norway

globe_Johannes Jansson_norden_orgAt the end of the golden age in southern Europe, many direct their gaze to the north.

Youth unemployment in Southern Europe is exceptionally high, reaching 40 percent in certain countries. Today, 5.5 million Europeans aged between16-24 are unemployed. Among Europe’s 27 states, the youth unemployment rate is at 22 percent, more than twice as high as the general unemployment rate. A whole generation might go to waste.


Spaniards: emigrants again

harbour_Johannes Jansson_norden_orgIn Spain, images of emigrants with cardboard suitcases who emigrated to America and Europe in the 1960s in search of a job and a better life are well known.

This phenomenon was called the “Spanish Diaspora” and ended with the oil crisis in 1973 and as a result of Spain joining the European Union. Spanish emigrants became a thing of the past.


Sweden: Highest ratio of youth unemployment

students_Johannes Jansson_norden-org12 March 2012 - Unemployment is hotly debated everywhere in the European Union, not least in Southern Europe and often the Nordic countries are cited as examples of an efficient, flexible job market.

Youth unemployment is certainly highest in countries such as Spain with more than 40% of young job seekers unemployed, but if we look at unemployment amoung those under 24 compared to unemployment in general, the situation is different.


Rudi Delarue, Director - EU Office (ILO), on youth unemployment in Europe


  • According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) a large number of youth are engaged in poor quality and low paid jobs, often in the informal economy. In 2008, an estimated 152 million young workers –or nearly 25% of the world’s working poor– were living with their families on less than US$1.25 per person per day  amounting to more than 28% of all young workers in the world (UN)

  • The ILO has warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing world. (ILO)

  • In the first quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate for young people (aged 15 to 24) was 17.4% in the OECD area compared with 7% for adults (aged 25 and over). (OECD)

  • Young women have more difficulty than young men in finding work. The female youth unemployment rate in 2009 stood at 13.2 per cent compared to the male rate of 12.9%. (UN)

  • There are more than 1 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 worldwide, and 85% of them live in developing countries. (UN)

  • Youth unemployment stood at 13% globally at the end of 2009, equivalent to 81 million young people. That is an increase of 7.8 million since 2007, prior to the global crisis. (ILO)

  • At the peak of the crisis period in 2009, the global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record. The youth unemployment rate rose from 11.8 to 12.7% between 2008 and 2009, marking the largest annual increase over the past 20 years. (ILO)

  • One of the key reasons why unemployment tends to be higher among young people than among adults relates to the existence of “job queues”. As new entrants to the labor market, young people may find themselves at the back of the line for jobs. (UN)