World’s youth are hardest hit as 200m jobless

THE GLOBAL economy is not improving quickly enough to keep up with a growing labour force, with worldwide unemployment pushing to more than 200m people in 2013.

This year’s employment trends report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), released yesterday, reveals concerns that the damage to the world’s labour market since the financial crisis is still worsening, with 5m more people internationally becoming jobless in the past year.

The researchers fear that despite a recent improvement in the world’s economic climate, there could be a “jobless recovery”.

The situation for young people out of work is particularly severe: nearly 75m people between 15 and 24 were unemployed in 2013 – 13.1 per cent of the total. The ILO expects that the rate will keep rising, up to 13.2 per cent in the next 12 months.

Only 4.6 per cent of the workforce aged 25 and over are out of work, a third of the youth level, pushing the generational gap in terms of joblessness to historically high levels.

The global unemployment rate for all age groups is projected to increase from six to 6.1 per cent over the course of this year, where it is forecast to stay until at least 2016.

“Weak household spending has kept companies from expanding their productive capacity, because they’re uncertain where the demand for their products will come from. These factors have put pressure on government revenues and many governments have reduced their spending. This had previously provided crucial support to labour markets in the depths of the crisis and in the initial recovery period,” said Steve Kapsos, one of the report’s authors.

Most of the increase in unemployment during 2013 came from east and south Asia, with rates stabilising at a high level in the Eurozone.

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