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Youth labour statistics

Mastercard Foundation partnering with ILO to create new and improved database on youth in the labour market

Mastercard Foundation funding enables ILO to provide more and better data on youth in the labour market.

Press release | 12 March 2019
GENEVA (ILO News) – The ILO1 and the Mastercard Foundation2 have launched a project to provide comprehensive national-level data on youth in the labour market, including indicators on the transition from school to work.

During the one-year project, the Mastercard Foundation will support the ILO in creating a new, regularly updated database, called YouthSTATS. The database was first produced by the ILO as part of its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Work4Youth Project that concluded in 2014.

This database will provide a comprehensive set of indicators on the labour market situation of people in the 15-29 age group and will serve as a central repository of international youth labour statistics.

The ILO houses the world’s largest stock of labour force survey microdatasets, which include individual and household level information that is used to produce official national statistics. In recent years, the ILO’s Department of Statistics has invested considerable resources to collect more than 9,000 national labour force survey microdatasets from more than 140 countries worldwide.

ILO experts systematically process these national microdatasets to obtain new, harmonized datasets that are then added to the ILO’s Harmonized Microdata collection. This process ensures that consistent definitions and international statistical standards are applied throughout the collection, thereby enhancing international comparability and facilitating cross-country analysis.

“A key advantage of basing YouthSTATS indicators on the ILO’s microdata collection is that this will facilitate the sustainable production of disaggregated data – by age, sex, economic industry, formal and informal sectors, occupation, level of educational attainment, and other pertinent variables. The disaggregated data, in turn, will provide insights on challenges faced by specific population groups,” said Steven Kapsos, who heads the ILO’s Data Production and Analysis Unit.

“The pioneering School-to-Work Transition surveys showed the importance of understanding, in detail, what this pivotal period looks like for young people around the world,” said Lindsay Wallace, Director of Strategy and Learning at the Mastercard Foundation. “We are pleased that the ILO will be able to make this information available on an ongoing basis for global, regional, and national decision-makers.”

For more information please contact the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information at

About the ILO

1 The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission, that social justice is essential for universal and lasting peace. It is the only tripartite U.N. agency, bringing together governments, employers and workers representatives from its 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. Today, the ILO's Decent Work agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.

About Mastercard Foundation

2 The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.