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Young, Unemployed and Broke

Updated : September 15th, 2021

Landing a stable job is usually the first thing in mind after graduating. But, newbies just out of the college might be in for a shock. Employers expecting to hire experienced workers is surely a concern. Here is something which might add to their woes! According to a new analysis by Centre for American Progress, the youth unemployment in the US is historic high at 16.2%. Young Americans are now facing a new hurdle.

The scene is nothing better in other parts of the world. The potential of the young and energetic might remain untapped considering the current economic scenario; youth unemployment rate is on the rise across the world hampering the global economy. An estimated 73.4 million people between the ages of 15 and 24 are expected to be without work this year, putting the global youth unemployment rate at 12.6%, according to a report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO). That’s an increase of 3.5 million between 2007 to 2013.

The long-term consequences of persistently high youth unemployment include the loss of valuable work experience and the erosion of occupational skills,” said José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, the ILO’s assistant director-general for policy.

Moreover, unemployment experiences early in the career of a young person are likely to result in wage scars that continue to depress employment and earnings’ prospects even decades later,” he added.

Youth unemployment is at its worse in developing countries due to rigid labour market structures, late retirement of existing work force, strict rules on hiring and poor education system devoid of practical skills.

In six of the ten developing countries surveyed, more than 60 percent of the young people were either unemployed or trapped in low-paying jobs. The survey suggests that youth unemployment is fostering the generation’s distrust in the socio-economic and political systems, pointing to protests and anti-austerity movements in Greece and Spain. In those two countries, more than half of young jobseekers are unemployed.

The young workforce tend to get settled for a low paid and low skilled jobs which affects their ability in the long run. Occupational mismatches are also contributing to the youth job crisis. Some job seekers are undereducated and under-skilled while others are overeducated and over-skilled and long stretches of unemployment are leading to the obsolescence of some qualifications. This growing mismatch may become entrenched without policies to re-skill job seekers, the ILO warns.

According to a World Bank database compiled from households, more than 26 million young people in developed and developing countries are inactive. The Economist calculates that, all told, almost 290m are neither working nor studying: almost a quarter of the planet’s youth.

“Young people are suffering disproportionately in this down economy. There are just no jobs out there,” said Evan Feinberg, president of Generation Opportunity, a Washington, D.C.-area advocacy and research group. “In a dynamic economy young people find work. In a stagnant economy young people are hit the worst” he added.

The alarming rate of youth unemployment is putting the generation at risk leading to rising frustration levels. Young workforce is the most productive resource of a country and their unemployment hurts the economy badly.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for strengthened policies and investments involving young people. Many global leaders now consider fixing youth unemployment as significant a challenge as repairing public finances.

Empowering youth to become entrepreneurs will help them create jobs for themselves as well as for their counterparts and can be a possible solution to the global youth unemployment.

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