, GENEVA, Sept 4 – Already chilling youth unemployment figures around the world are set to worsen as the impact from the eurozone debt crisis spreads, an International Labour Organisation report said on Tuesday.
“As the euro area crisis continues in its second year, the impacts are spreading further, slowing down economies from East Asia to Latin America,” the UN labour agency pointed out.
This, the organisation predicted, will contribute to a 0.2 percentage point rise in the global youth unemployment rate, from a forecasted 12.7 percent this year to 12.9 percent in 2017.
The hike would come even though the developed nation epicentres of the euro crisis are expected to see their devastatingly high youth unemployment figures dip slightly, ILO said.
“The projected decline in youth unemployment in the developed economies region is not expected to be enough to pull the global rate downwards,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, which had expected faster improvements in their youth employment rates “will now take longer to revert to levels seen prior to the global financial crisis,” it added.
The expected drop in youth jobless numbers in developed economies, from a forecasted 17.5 percent this year to 15.6 percent in 2017, also gave no reason to celebrate, the organisation said.
This is because the decline would arise “principally because discouraged young people are withdrawing from the labour market and not because of stronger hiring activity among youngsters.”
The ILO also cautioned that viewing youth unemployment by region disguised large variations between countries, especially in Europe, where Spain and Greece are struggling with rates over 50 percent, while less than 10 percent of youths in Germany and Switzerland, for instance, are unemployed.
In light of the “substantial risk (of) another significant downward spiral that could bring the world economy closer to another global recession by the end of 2012,” the labour organisation stressed the need for government to urgently act to curb joblessness among young people.
“The ILO is calling for targeted measures to improve the labour market situation, especially for youth,” it said, adding that governments should help provide employment and training guarantees for young people.
Pointing to programmes in the Nordic countries and Austria as examples, it stressed that “estimates show that such programmes can come at very limited costs” – far less than “the additional costs that come from young unemployed people permanently losing touch with the labour market.”