Toward Solutions for Youth Employment
Unemployment in any form is a drag on an economy and society. It undercuts productivity, spending, and investment, stunting national growth. It contributes to inequality and spurs social tension. Joblessness and inactivity and the failure to tap into the economic aspirations and resources of young people carry an even higher price. Experience and increasing evidence show the significant social and economic costs of youth un- and underemployment and economic inactivity on individuals and families, and on present and future national and global prosperity and security. Without an income, millions of young people find themselves living in poverty. Initial low-paying jobs and delayed entry into the workforce limit lifetime earning potential. The inability to find gainful employment limits young people’s income and skill development. Unemployment at an early age can negatively affect future earnings and increase the likelihood of later joblessness. As prospects dwindle, many face social exclusion, or see their emotional, mental, or physical health deteriorate.
Young people account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s unemployed and are up to four times more likely to be unemployed than adults. The International Labour Organization projects that the situation will get worse in most developing and emerging regions. One-third of young people worldwide can be described as NEETs—not in education, employment, or training. The income of as many as a third of young people who are employed falls below national poverty lines. One in four young people in the world cannot find jobs paying more than $1.25 per day, the international threshold of extreme poverty.
What can be done? Experience and evidence increasingly indicate that we already have some of the policy and program responses to tackle youth employment now.
This report, Toward Solutions for Youth Employment, will focus on those supply, demand, and intermediation constraints that S4YE is best positioned to help mitigate or areas in which it can influence policy change. Moving constraints into policies and opportunities is becoming a pressing, but manageable, priority.
Read the full report here.