The global youth unemployment rate is at a record high and is expected to climb even higher as the year progresses. According to the International Labor Office (ILO) report, of the world’s 620 million economically active youth between the ages of 15 and 24, 81 million were out of work at the end of 2009, the highest number ever. The youth unemployment rate climbed from 11.9 per cent in 2007 to 13 per cent in 2009. This same demographic has the highest rate of unemployment in the U.S. at 26.1% versus 9.5% for the rest of the nation.
Such trends, the report noted, will have “significant consequences for young people as upcoming cohorts of new entrants join the ranks of the already unemployed.” ILO warned of a possible ‘lost generation’ of young people dropping out of the labour market, “having lost all hope of being able to work for a decent living.”
The new report found that unemployment, underemployment and discouragement can have a negative impact on young people in the long-term, compromising their future work prospects. The cost of idleness among youth, it said, is that societies lost their investment in the education of young people, while governments receive fewer contributions to social security systems and must boost spending on remedial services.