ILO: 75 million youth will be jobless in 2012

GENEVA: The latest report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says that an estimated 75 million youth or 12.7 percent of the global youth force will be unemployed in 2012.

The report finds the projected unemployment rate for youths aged between 15 to 24 remains unchanged from 2009, up from last year's 12.6 percent and an increase of 4 million since 2007.

It said the rate is particularly high in developed economies, with a 18-percent jobless rate among youth forecast this year, Xinhua news agency reported.

ILO said the rate is not expected to decrease until at least 2016.

Further pressure on unemployment rates is expected to take place when those extending education due to limited job prospects eventually enter the labour market.

"The youth unemployment crisis can be beaten but only if job creation for young people becomes a key priority in policy-making and private sector investment picks up significantly," said Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, ILO Employment Sector executive director.

"This includes measures such as offering tax and incentives to enterprises hiring young people, efforts to reduce skills mismatch among youth, entrepreneurship programmes that integrate skills training, mentoring and access to capital, and the improvement of social protection for the young," he said.

The report said that of particular concern are young people who are neither in employment nor in education or training, known by the acronym NEET in many countries or "disconnected youth" in the United States.

Data from 24 developing economies show an average NEET rate of 12.4 percent for young men and 28.1 percent for young women.

Globally and in most regions, the 2009 crisis had a stronger impact on youth unemployment rates among women than men, with the difference being particularly strong in North Africa, while in developed economies, the impact was stronger for men.

According to the report, youth in developed economies are increasingly employed in temporary and part-time jobs while in the developing world many perform unpaid work supporting informal family businesses or farms. - Bernama