The new study examines the continuing job crisis affecting young people in many parts of the world. It pr updated statistics on global and regional youth unemployment rates and presents ILO policy recommendations to curb the current trends.
Download the report Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A generation at risk.
Résumé des Tendances mondiales de l'emploi des jeunes 2013: une génération menacée. Resumen de las Tendencias Mundiales del Empleo Juvenil 2013: Una generación en peligro. Summary of the Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A generation at risk.
It is not easy to be young in the labour market today.

The weakening of the global recovery in 2012 and 2013 has further aggravated the youth jobs crisis and the queues for available jobs have become longer and longer for some unfortunate young jobseekers. So long, in fact, that many youth are giving up on the job search. The prolonged jobs crisis also forces the current generation of youth to be less selective about the type of job they are prepared to accept, a tendency that was already evident before the crisis. Increasing numbers of youth are now turning to available part‐time jobs or find themselves stuck in temporary employment. Secure jobs, which were once the norm for previous generations – at least in the advanced economies – have become less easily accessible for today’s youth. The global youth unemployment rate, estimated at 12.6 per cent in 2013, is close to its crisis peak. 73 million young people are estimated to be unemployed in 2013. At the same time, informal employment among young people remains pervasive and transitions to decent work are slow and difficult. The economic and social costs of unemployment, long‐term unemployment, discouragement and widespread low‐quality jobs for young people continue to rise and undermine economies’ growth potential. Skills mismatch is adding to the youth employment crisis.
Skills mismatch on youth labour markets has become a persistent and growing trend.

Overeducation and over‐skilling coexist with undereducation and under‐skilling, and increasingly with skills obsolescence brought about by long‐term unemployment. Such a mismatch makes solutions to the youth employment crisis more difficult to find and more time consuming to implement. Moreover, to the extent that young people in employment are actually overqualified for the job they are doing, society is losing their valuable skills and forfeiting stronger productivity growth that would have been achieved had these young people been employed at their appropriate level of qualification.
In developing regions where 90 per cent of the global youth population lives, stable, quality employment is especially lacking.

Developing regions face major challenges regarding the quality of available work for young people. This report confirms that in developing economies where labour market institutions, including social protection, are weak, large numbers of young people continue to face a future of irregular employment and informality. Young workers often receive below average wages and are engaged in work for which they are either overqualified or underqualified. As much as two‐thirds of the young population is underutilized in some developing economies, meaning they are unemployed, in irregular employment, most likely in the informal sector, or neither in the labour force nor in education or training.
In advanced economies longterm unemployment has arrived as an unexpected tax on the current generation of youth.

Youth unemployment and its scarring effects are particularly prevalent in three regions: Developed Economies and European Union, the Middle East and North Africa. In these regions youth unemployment rates have continued to soar since 2008. Youth unemployment increased by as much as 24.9 per cent in the Developed Economies and European Union between 2008 and 2012, and the youth unemployment rate was at a decades‐long high of 18.1 per cent in 2012. On current projections, the youth unemployment rate in the Developed Economies and European Union will not drop below 17 per cent before 2016. As was discussed in the 2010 edition of Global Employment Trends for Youth, there is a price to be paid for entering the labour market during hard economic times. Much has been learned about “scarring” in terms of future earning power and labour market transition paths (ILO, 2010a). Perhaps the most important scarring is in terms of the current youth generation’s distrust in the socio‐economic and political systems. Some of this distrust has been expressed in political protests such as anti‐austerity movements in Greece and Spain.
Creative and wideranging policy solutions are needed.
Improving youth labour market outcomes requires an in‐depth understanding of employment and labour market issues that are country specific. Analysis of youth labour markets, with particular emphasis on the issues that characterize youth transitions to decent work, is crucial for determining country‐specific needs and for shaping policies and programmatic interventions. A global movement framed by the ILO’s Call for Action (as outlined in Chapter 6) is required to break the vicious circle that keeps so many millions of youth out of education and stuck in non‐productive employment and poverty. Download the report Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A generation at risk.