International Youth Day: the global challenge of unemployment

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This International Youth Day (12/08/2012) approaches as unemployment surfaces as one of the top challenges young people are facing around the globe. “Over 75 million young people still have no formal job. Young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed”, Lars Thunell, CEO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

A snapshot of youth unemployment:

  • Today, 50% of the world’s population is under 27 years old. According to the International Labour Organization, youth comprise 40% of the 200 million people who are unemployed worldwide
  • In Africa there are almost 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, a number that is set to double by 2045, Currently, this age group comprises 60% of Africa’s unemployed. See a country by country overview of the continent.
  • Youth living in an OECD country are two or three times more likely to be unemployed than their elders.
  • Overall, more than 1 in 5 young people in the labour market in France, the UK , Sweden, Poland, Ireland and Italy are unemployed.
  • Youth unemployment in Spain went from 17.4% in March 2007, to 51.1% in March 2012.
Current Youth Unemployment Levels for the OECD


Ideas and Solutions:

According to OECD, we need to invest in skills to boost jobs and growth:

A recent interview with Muhammas Yunus also introduced the idea of placing job-creation before profit:

Image: recruiting representative from a night club greets a potential employee during a job fair in San Francisco. Photo by Robert Galbraith / REUTERS
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