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Facts and figures: the jobless generation

This piece was part of a Digital Journalism project for university that required a social media video to go with it.

The global youth unemployment crisis is no news, but it takes a deep look at the figures to realise that young jobless people live in both developed and emerging countries, are more female than male and are affected by the crisis for many different reasons.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 71 million young people around the world do not have a job – it is more or less as if the whole France was only populated with unemployed.

In developed countries, 14.5% of young people are unemployed. According to a 2016 ILO report, “the global financial crisis in 2008 had a disproportionate impact on young people, especially across much of the developed world.” The economy is now recovering, but the youth work market is improving at a very slow pace.

Young adults are especially struggling in Southern Europe, where a university degree does not make the job search any easy.

In Spain, for example, the youth unemployment rate peaked in August 2013 (56.1%) and was 37.4% at the end of 2017. Young Spaniards have been called “the lost generation” and have not benefited much from the country’s GDP stable growth of the last four years.

Developing countries not only have a similar unemployment rate (13.1%), but also have to deal with a higher poverty risk. Having a job is no guarantee of economic well-being: 156 million young people in developing countries live with less than $3.10 a day despite having a job.

Some regions in developing countries are specifically affected by a great gender employment gap: according to the ILO report, in the Arab States only 13.5% of young women are part of the labour force, compared to the 48.5% of young men.

However, the gender gap is obviously no exclusivity of developing countries. The global gender gap is at 16.6%.

The difficulties of the labour market have often led young people to leave their countries.

According to ILO, “an elevated unemployment rate, increased susceptibility to working poverty and a lack of good quality job opportunities are key factors shaping young people’s decision to migrate abroad permanently”.

UN figures show that 52 million international migrants were aged between 15 and 29 in 2017.

 

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