Across the world, the economic crisis had a more dramatic effect on young people seeking decent work. On the global scale, between 2008 and 2009, the youth unemployment rate registered the largest annual increase on record, up to 13%.
Unemployment is one of many injustices and hardships facing a growing number of young workers. More and more young workers are enduring an exploitative work arrangement based on irregular hours, fewer benefits, next to no job security, and reduced social protection.
Young workers (15 to 24 years of age) are more exposed to poverty levels and economic uncertainty than any other age group In 2009, 81 million young people were unemployed at global scale.
· The youth unemployment rate rose from 11.9% to 13% between 2007 and 2009, an increase of 7.8 million.
· In 2008, an estimated 152 million young workers (approximately 25% of the world’s working poor) were living with their families on less than $1.25 (US) per person per day.
· Young women are more disadvantaged in finding work than young men.
· In 2009, the female youth unemployment rate stood at 13.2% compared to the male rate of 12.9%
· In 2010, Canadian youth unemployment rate stood at almost 14%, a bit lower compared to 2009, when youth unemployment rate hit 15.2% – nearly twice the figure for general workforce unemployment. For students in secondary and post-secondary institutions, the unemployment rate was even higher at 19.2%
· In 2009, youth unemployment was particularly high in the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador with 24.8%; New Brunswick, 19.7%; Prince Edward Island, 18.6%; and Nova Scotia, 17.6%. In Quebec, youth unemployment rose to levels above national average at 17.6%
· In the European Union, youth unemployment rose to 21%, with particularly high levels in Spain, 44%; Greece, 39%; Italy, 29%; and Ireland, 24%.
· In South Africa, youth unemployment current stands at a stunning 51%.
· In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, almost 90% of unemployed workers are under the age of 30.
· In New Zealand, youth unemployment reached 29% for those aged 18 to 24.
Source: Statistics Canada; International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nation Programme on Youth