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Global youth unemployment forecast to worsen

Wednesday, September 05, 2012    

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THE Geneva-based International Labour Organisation (ILO) is projecting jobless rates among youth in Latin America and the Caribbean to inch up by 0.1 percentage point, from 14.6 per cent to 14.7 per cent, between now and 2017 as global youth unemployment worsen with the spillover of the euro crisis spreading from advanced to emerging economies.

The observation is made in a paper title Global Employment Outlook: Bleak Labour Market Prospects for Youth, released yesterday by the United Nations body.

"Ironically, only in developed economies are youth unemployment rates expected to fall in the coming years, but this follows the largest increase in youth unemployment among all regions since the start of the crisis," said Ekkehard Ernst, lead author of the paper and chief of the ILO's Employment Trends Unit.

The new forecasts show the youth unemployment rate in developed economies dropping gradually, from 17.5 per cent this year to 15.6 per cent in 2017. This is still far higher than the rate of 12.5 per cent registered in 2007, before the crisis struck.

Much of this decline in the jobless rate is not due to improvements in the labour market, but rather to large numbers of young people dropping out of the labour force altogether due to discouragement. These discouraged youth are not counted among the unemployed.

Globally, youth unemployment is expected to move from its current 12.7 per cent to 12.9 per cent in 2017. In Central and South Eastern Europe, the figure is expected to increase from 16.9 per cent to 17 per cent, and in East Asia from 9.5 per cent to 10.4 per cent.

The Middle East will see the biggest increase of two percentage points, followed by South East Asia and the Pacific which is forecast to register a 1.1 percentage point increase from 13.1 per cent to 14.2 per cent.

On the contrary, North Africa (27.5 per cent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (12 per cent) are forecast to see their youth jobless rates decline by .8 and .2 percentage points, respectfully.

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