More young women and men in education but still facing a difficult labour market transition
Global shares of youth in the total labour force, whether employed or unemployed, are decreasing over time. One reason is that more young people (although still not enough) are participating in education.
However, millions of young people in low-income countries continue to leave school to take up jobs when they are too young. According to the report, 31 per cent of youth in low-income countries have no educational qualifications at all, compared to 6 per cent in lower middle-income countries and 2 per cent in upper middle-income countries.
The report also highlights a persistent gender gap with the rates of young women’s participation in the labour market being significantly lower than those of young men in most regions. They continue to be also more exposed to unemployment than their male counterpart.
More young people in developed economies are now finding work but the quality of jobs is below their expectations. And still too many remain stuck in long-term unemployment. In the European Union, more than one in three unemployed youth has been looking for work for more than one year.
Meanwhile, developing economies continue to be plagued by structural underemployment, informal employment and working poverty. While working poverty (living on less than US$2 per day) has decreased over the past 20 years, it still affects 169 million (one in three) young workers in the developing world. The number increases to 286 million if the near poor are included (living on less than US$4 a day).
The report offers new evidence on how young people move into the labour market based on data from recent school-to-work transition surveys (SWTS)* . For young people who aspire to a stable job, the transition period takes an average of 19 months. A young person with university education is able to move to a stable job in one-third of the time needed for a youth with primary education. In most cases the transition takes longer for young women than men.