Skip to content
What stands between youth and decent jobs?

What stands between youth and decent jobs?

More young people are staying in school instead of entering the labour market at an early age. That’s good news. Yet more than 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty.

Explore this InfoStory to learn more about global employment trends for young people and what stands between them and a decent job.

School enrolment is on an upswing

With more young people in school, fewer youth are working or looking for a job. This means that the youth labour pool is shrinking.

While the youth population grew by 139 million between 1997 and 2017, the youth labour force shrank by 58.7 million.

Where the jobs are – and aren’t

Despite a mild recovery in recent years, youth unemployment has risen slightly in 2017 to 13%. However, regional trends vary widely depending on income levels and enrolment in education.

Far too many young people are neither in education nor employment

Regardless of increasing school enrolment, millions of young people find themselves with neither a job nor an educational opportunity.

Globally, one in five young people are NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training. Three out of four of young NEETs are women.

Making the move from school to work

Globally, most youth still wait an average of 13.8 months to find a stable or satisfactory job. This reflects a difficult transition from education into work.

Being poor despite having a job

Almost two out of five young workers in emerging and developing economies live on less than US$3.10 a day.

However, globally three out of four young workers are employed in the informal economy. This is not decent work.

Helping youth find decent work

Investing in youth employment requires a collaborative approach to prioritizing job creation while helping youth to overcome their specific disadvantages through skills and labour market policies.

Interventions must promote job growth and skills development, make self-employment easier and ensure better working conditions, social protection and rights at work.

We use cookies to give you the best experience. By using our website, you consent to the use of cookies. Find out more in our privacy policy.