The total number of unemployed young people worldwide is expected to fall to 73 million in 2022, a drop of two million from the previous year, the Geneva-based UN agency said on Thursday. This figure represents a slight improvement on 2021 (75 million), but remains 6 million above the level of 2019, before the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, people aged 15 to 24 experienced a much higher percentage of job loss than the rest of the labor market, says the ILO.
Young women have struggled more than their male counterparts to find work, while Arab nations are expected to see the highest levels of youth unemployment by the end of the year, compared to the world average.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on youth labor markets around the world,” said Martha Newton, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy.
Speaking at the launch of the ILO report, “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022: Investing in transforming the future of young people”, Newton said that the proportion of young people without a job, education or training in 2020 increased to 23.3%.
That represents a 1.5% increase from 2019, according to the ILO report and represents a level of unemployment not seen in at least 15 years.
“This group of young people is at particular risk of their labor market opportunities and outcomes deteriorating in the long term as well, as the ‘scarring’ effects (of COVID-19) take hold,” she noted.
The report’s conclusions include the worrying finding that young women face a worse situation than young men when it comes to finding a job. This year, fewer than three in 10 young women globally are expected to work, compared to more than four in 10 young men.
“The gender gap, which has shown few signs of narrowing in the past two decades, is largest in lower-middle income countries, at 17.3%, and smallest in high-income countries, at 2.3 %”, says the ILO report.