Local youth unemployment

Choosing and assessing local youth unemployment interventions

The author looks at the cost-effectiveness of various programmes that address youth unemployment. The author disaggregates the youth segment from total unemployment and examines the two classes of unemployment – voluntary and involuntary – and their causes.

Involuntary unemployment, argues the author, represents a market failure that requires a response. Current public sector interventions are assessed, their costs (including opportunity cost) are examined and tested in comparison to services offered in the private sector.

The author argues that with a greater range of choices now available to those seeking work, public interventions need to be carefully crafted and directed towards those areas where they will have the greatest impact. For example, instead of competing with private sector agencies in recruitment activities, the public sector agencies may be better placed to look at the labour supply side by working with schools and colleges to ensure that education and training provided equips graduates for the available jobs.