Youth unemployment hits record high due to economic crisis: ILO

16:19, August 12, 2010      

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World youth unemployment in 2009 soared to a record high and would continue rising this year, according to a report released here Thursday by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Just over 13 percent of the global workforce aged 15 to 24 will be jobless by the year's end, slightly above levels at the end of 2009 and a huge rise since 2007, it said.

However, the youth unemployment rate would decrease to 12.7 percent in 2011, the ILO predicted.

The report, entitled "ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth 2010," was released in the International Youth Year (2010), as declared by the United Nations.

The ILO expressed its concern over the "lost generation" as more unemployed youth would result in more mental health problems, extreme poverty, as well as crime and violence.

The "lost generation" are young people who dropped out of the labor markets and despaired of getting decent jobs.

The world economic crisis had a greater impact on youth than on adult unemployment, therefore it would lead to a slower recovery in the youth labor market, the report said.

Young people in developing countries and emerging markets were more affected due to inadequate employment opportunities and poverty. In 2008, 152 million young people, accounting for 28 percent of the young global workforce, lived in extremely poor families with less than 1.25 U.S. dollars of daily income.

"Young people are the drivers of economic development," ILO Director General Juan Somavia said. "Foregoing this potential is an economic waste."



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