Youth Employment

Of the world's estimated 211 million unemployed people in 2009, nearly 40 per cent—or about 83 million—are between 15 and 24 years of age.1 More youth are poor or underemployed than ever before: some 309 million young people work but live in households that earn less than the equivalent of US$2 per day. Millions of young people are trapped in temporary and involuntary part-time or casual work that offers few benefits and limited prospects for advancement at work and in life. Young women often face additional barriers.

Young people today build the foundations for the economies and societies of tomorrow. Yet the lack of sufficient or sustainable decent work makes young people extremely vulnerable.

Decent and productive employment for youth is a major component of the Millennium Declaration. Achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and youth, is a target of MDG 1 which aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Youth Employment in Turkey

As for Turkey, Turkey’s impressive economic growth in the last decade has not been matched by a comparable strong growth in job creation. While the average annual economic growth rate during 2002-2006 exceeded 7%, the unemployment rate remained stubbornly around 10%. Moreover, according to 2006 figures, youth unemployment remained at 19%, almost double the national unemployment level.
The global economic crisis has further deteriorated the situation. According to the annual results of Household Labour Force Surveys conducted by TURKSTAT, the overall unemployment rate reached 14% whereas, the rate of youth unemployment rose to 25,3 % in 2009.

On 10 February 2009, Turkey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoM) on the Decent Work Country Priorities through which youth employment has become one of the priority areas in Turkey.

As a joint response of United Nations system against youth unemployment challenge in Turkey, FAO, ILO, IOM and UNDP launched a joint program called “UN Joint Programme: Growth with Decent Work for All-A National Youth Employment Program and Pilot Implementation in Antalya”. This Joint Programme which is funded by MDG Achievement Fund aims to increase decent work opportunities for the young population between the ages of 15-24. The national implementing partner of the UN Joint Programme is Turkish Employment Organization (İŞKUR).

To access more information about UN Joint Programme, please visit: