South Asia had some 9.3 per cent youth unemployment in 2012, according to an annual report published today.
In countries and regions with high poverty levels and high shares of vulnerable employment, the youth employment challenge is as much a problem of poor employment quality as one of unemployment like in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa relatively low regional youth unemployment rates, but it is linked to high levels of poverty, which means that working is a necessity for many young people, said the 'Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A Generation at risk' published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The weakening of the global recovery in 2012 and 2013 has further aggravated the youth jobs crisis and the queues for available jobs have become longer and longer for some unfortunate young jobseekers, it said, adding that in fact, that many youth are giving up on the job search. "The prolonged jobs crisis also forces the current generation of youth to be less selective about the type of job they are prepared to accept, a tendency that was already evident before the crisis."
Increasing numbers of youth are now turning to available part-time jobs or find themselves stuck in temporary employment. Secure jobs, which were once the norm for previous generations — at least in the advanced economies — have become less easily accessible for today’s youth.
The global youth unemployment rate, estimated at 12.6 per cent in 2013, is close to its crisis peak, the report stated, adding that 73 million young people are estimated to be unemployed in 2013. "At the same time, informal employment among young people remains pervasive and transitions to decent work are slow and difficult."
The economic and social costs of unemployment, long-term unemployment, discouragement and widespread low-quality jobs for young people continue to rise and undermine growth potential.
Likewise, skills mismatch on youth labour markets has become a persistent and growing trend. "Overeducation and over-skilling coexist with undereducation and under-skilling, and increasingly with skills obsolescence brought about by long-term unemployment," it added. "Such a mismatch makes solutions to the youth employment crisis more difficult to find and more time consuming to implement. Moreover, to the extent that young people in employment are actually overqualified for the job they are doing, society is losing their valuable skills and forfeiting stronger productivity growth that would have been achieved had these young people been employed at their appropriate level of qualification."
Similarly, developing regions face major challenges regarding the quality of available work for young people, projected the report that confirms that in developing economies where labour market institutions, including social protection, are weak, large numbers of young people continue to face a future of irregular employment and informality.
"Young workers often receive below average wages and are engaged in work for which they are either overqualified or underqualified. As much as two-thirds of the young population is underutilised in some developing economies, meaning they are unemployed, in irregular employment, most likely in the informal sector, or neither in the labour force nor in education or training."
The global youth unemployment rate, which had decreased from 12.7 per cent in 2009 to 12.3 per cent in 2011, increased again to 12.4 per cent in 2012, and has continued to grow to 12.6 per cent in 2013. "It is 1.1 percentage points above the pre-crisis level in 2007 (11.5 per cent)," it added, projecting that by 2018 the global youth unemployment rate will rise to 12.8 per cent, with growing regional disparities, as expected improvements in advanced economies will be offset by increases in youth unemployment in other regions, mainly in Asia.
Global youth unemployment is estimated to stand at 73.4 million in 2013, an increase of 3.5 million since 2007 and 0.8 million above the level in 2011.
The rising youth unemployment and falling labour force participation contributed to a decrease in the global youth employment-to-population ratio to 42.3 per cent in 2013, compared with 44.8 per cent in 2007. "Part of the decrease is due to rising enrollment in education," it said, adding that the global youth employment-to-population ratio is projected to be 41.4 per cent in 2018.
Globally, the ratio of youth to adult unemployment rates hardly changed in recent years, and stands at 2.7 in 2013. Young people therefore continue to be almost three times more likely than adults to be unemployed, and the upward trend in global unemployment continues to hit them strongly.The global employment-to-population ratio declined by one percentage point between 2007 and 2012. It was due to falling labour force participation and rising unemployment, while changes in the demographic structure helped to raise the employment-to-population ratio.