Leveraging Labor Market Assessment Tools to Address the Youth Unemployment Challenge

USAID Workforce Connections

Global employment is a challenge that is daunting both in its scale and its complexity. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, formal job creation is low and official youth unemployment is high, yet the labor force grows by roughly 8 million people every year. Given these conditions, development practitioners are looking for ways to better understand labor markets to optimize approaches and inform programmatic decisions.

USAID’s Workforce Connections (WC) is a program that promotes evidence-based learning and peer-to-peer knowledge exchange with the goal of improving the capacity of USAID and its industry partners to deliver quality workforce development programming. One of WC’s activities has been the creation of labor market assessment (LMA) tools. These tools have been used to help inform program design in Lebanon, Kenya, and, most recently, in Zimbabwe, where the LMA team assessed overall economic trends and patterns, the resulting demand for skills, and the supply of workers and skills.

This Microlinks seminar presents the Zimbabwe case as a means of sharing some of the tools and approaches involved in carrying out a LMA. The session will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on these tools and approaches and to discuss labor market assessments more broadly.

Presentations will be led by Lara Goldmark, MA, Project Director, Eleanor (Nora) Sohnen, Workforce Development Advisor, Tadzoka (Taka) Pswarayi, Zimbabwe Youth Consultant.