Youth employment in Central and Eastern Europe

The world is facing a growing youth employment crisis. Unemployment in the Central and South-Eastern Europe region peaked at the highest regional rate in the world in 2009, with vulnerable groups bearing much of the impact of the global economic crisis. Youth unemployment rose more than in any other developing region in 2009; one in five economically active youth in the region were unemployed in 2010.

The transition to a market economy, years of conflict and economic downturn worsened the situation of many youth in the region in the past. Although economic prospects improved in the last years before the economic crisis, employment outcomes have been rather poor for the overall population and for young people in particular. Compared to their adult counterparts, young people continue to experience lower employment and higher informality.

ILO assistance

The ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe provides technical and advisory services to governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations on youth employment policy development and implementation to improve employment possibilities for youth in the region. The ILO Budapest team helps to build the capacity of labour market institutions, including the social partners, on the design, monitoring and evaluation of active labour market policies targeting disadvantaged youth. The office also works to increase the effectiveness of national employment services in the region to deliver programmes and services aimed at enhancing the employability and improving employment prospects of young people and to strengthen the capacity of social partners in promoting decent work for youth.