Toronto – August 17, 2013 – The global youth unemployment rate, estimated at 12.6% or 73 million in 2013, has reached an alarming level. Secure, full-time, good jobs – once a norm for previous generations – are much less accessible to today’s youth.
The economic and social costs of unemployment and the prevalence of low-quality jobs for young people continue to rise and undermine the growth potential of economies around the world. In developing countries, the unprecedented levels of youth unemployment and underemployment have become a serious hindrance to development.
7.1 billion – the world’s total population in 2013
17 – percentage of the world's population that youth represent
1.2 billion – total number of youth globally between the ages of 15 and 24
87% of young people live in developing countries
40% of the world's unemployed population is comprised of youth
4.5% – the global adult unemployment rate in 2012
12.6% – the global youth unemployment rate in 2012
75 million youth worldwide were unemployed in 2012:
- 17.4% – North America
- 21.4% – European Union
- 17.6% – Central and Southeastern Europe
- 9.0% – East Asia
- 13.5% – Southeast Asia and Pacific
- 9.8% – South Asia
- 14.3% – Latin America
- 26.5% – Middle East
- 27.9% – North Africa
- 11.5% – Sub-Saharan Africa
1.52 billion people are estimated to be in vulnerable employment in 2011
536 million of employed youth in developing countries were underemployed in 2012
32% of young employees were on temporary contracts in 2011, compared to 8.9% of adults
42.1% of young people in the 27 European Union (EU) countries were working in temporary jobs, while 47% of youth in sub-Saharan Africa were unpaid workers in 2010
200 million – total population of youth who are "working poor," earning under U.S. $2 per day, mostly employed in the informal sectors of developing countries
An increasing percentage of young workers in developed countries are being forced into part-time jobs.
28.4% of youth working part-time in the EU did so involuntarily in 2010.
14.3% – the unemployment rate of youths aged 15 to 24 in 2012, compared to 6% for workers aged 25 to 54 or older
13% – the total percentage of youth aged 15 to 29 who are not participating in education, employment, or training (a measurement known as NEET)
200,000 – the number of NEET male youth in their 20s who are seeking a job (Statistics Canada study)
49.7% – the total percentage of youths aged 15 to 24 employed in sales, service, retail, food services, and clerical work
1 in 4 – the ratio of young people with university degrees who worked in “low-skilled” jobs in 2012
1 in 5 – the ratio of youth aged 15 to 24 who are not working today, and who have never held a job.
22% of teens and 14 % of youth aged 20 to 24 (non-students) are only working part-time. 70% of these youth are working part-time involuntary – meaning they want to work full-time.
Youth unemployment affects developed and developing countries alike. Across the globe, youth employment and job creation should become a national priority for all governments.
Sources: World Economic Forum; Statistics Canada study – “Unemployment Dynamics Among Canada’s Youth”