Unemployment is the Greatest Challenge of Our Generation


At the Youth Employment Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, the statistics released on youth unemployment are quite shocking. The reported titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012” was released this week and it gives a very alarming picture that millennials should think about and prepare for.

The report provides a clear picture of the trend of youth unemployment from 1991 to 2012. The report says 12.7% of people ages 15 to 24 are unemployed. Last year, 12.6% of young people were unemployed, and in 2007 the rate of youths unemployed was recorded at 11.6 %. 

Figures from North Africa show that a whopping 27.9% of youths remained unemployed last year. 26.5% of youths were unemployed in the Middle East, 17.6% in central and South-Eastern Europe, 14.3% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 11.5% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 13.5% in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Another shocking information that the report predicts is that the youth employment rate will remain at the same high level for the coming four years.

The International Labour Organization says youth employment also poses a threat to political stability and social cohesion. To cope with the crisis, ILO suggests that governments in the world should create more jobs. Not only more but better education and training is needed for this purpose.  

The report also suggests promotion of youth entrepreneurship, making youth employment a priority, promoting economic diversification, linking education and training to the world of work among others to foster  youth employment.

I am among the five young journalists selected from across the globe to cover the Young Entrepreneurs Forum. I am currently digging out some unique stories from the youth participants of Asia, and trying to learn and share how every youth in the world could get decent work.