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Youth jobs data

Youth labour market still critical in G20 countries

Data presented at a G20 meeting in Geneva shows that youth unemployment rates remain alarming, ranging from about 8 per cent to over 50 per cent in 17 of the 20 member countries. The G20 Task Force on Employment agreed to promote quality apprenticeships.

News | 03 October 2012

GENEVA (ILO News) -The youth jobs situation remains critical, with 17.7 million young people - or just over 16 per cent - unemployed in 17 of the G20 countries for which data is available, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.

Youth unemployment rates
  • 8-11 per cent in Australia, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico.
  • 15-18 per cent in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the Russian Federation, Turkey, the United States.
  • 21-23 per cent in France, Indonesia, the United Kingdom.
  • 35-52 per cent in Italy, South Africa, Spain.
The data does not include figures for China, India or Saudi Arabia.
Over the last 12 months the youth unemployment rate has increased in 10 countries whereas the employment to working age population has declined in 12 countries, according to an ILO document presented at a G20 Task Force on Employment meeting.

“Let’s be realistic: We know that the perspectives out there on the labour market are anything but bright,” ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, told participants.

“We know that when the general employment figures are bad, the situation of youth employment is even worse,” he added. “We have to look for new approaches.”


Need to promote apprenticeships

The task group expressed commitment to promoting and strengthening apprenticeships as a proven means of transitioning soundly between learning and work.

The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, and the Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers ( IOE), Brent Wilton, both expressed strong support for the goal of promoting apprenticeships and said they planned to lead national consultations.

The share of young women and men in apprenticeships varies greatly from country to country. Germany leads in this field, with close to half of all 16-24 year olds in apprenticeships, while other countries achieve levels of below 20 per cent, according to another ILO document presented at the meeting: Overview of Apprenticeship Systems and Issues.

“The ILO has decided to make youth employment a key part of its work,” Ryder said, pointing to a Call for Action launched at the International Labour Conference in June 2012.

The ILO’s call for action
The ILO call for action on youth employment calls on governments and the social partners:
  • To foster pro-employment growth and decent job creation through macroeconomic policies, employability, labour market policies, youth entrepreneurship and rights to tackle the social consequences of the crisis, while ensuring financial and fiscal sustainability.
  • To promote macroeconomic policies and fiscal incentives that support employment and stronger aggregate demand, improve access to finance and increase productive investment – taking account of different economic situations in countries.
  • To adopt fiscally sustainable and targeted measures, such as countercyclical policies and demand-side interventions, public employment programmes, employment guarantee schemes, labour-intensive infrastructure programmes, wage and training subsidies and other specific youth employment interventions. Such programmes should ensure equal treatment for young workers.
(Read the press release)

Tags: youth employment, youth unemployment, apprentices, multilateral system

Unit responsible: Department of Communication (DCOMM)

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