More than 16% of young people are unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic

27 Mayo 2020
Economic Affairs

The impact of COVID-19 has been disproportionate among young workers. More than one in six is ​​unemployed and the hours of those who have kept their jobs have fallen by 23%, according to the most recent report by the international body that deals with labor issues.

More than 16% of young people have not worked since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, reveals a study by the International Labor Organization released this Wednesday, which ensures that youth are disproportionately affected by the economic-social effects of the health emergency.

The “ILO Observatory: COVID-19 and the world of work” also notes that the working hours of young people who have kept their jobs have decreased by 23%.

It also indicates that the rapid and substantial increase in youth unemployment registered since February affects women more than men.

The report warns that the pandemic has a triple impact on young people since, in addition to destroying their jobs, it impacts their education and training and fills the path of those seeking to enter the job market or change jobs with obstacles.

Testing, tracing and job market

To reactivate the economy and the workplace, the International Labor Organization urges governments to increase testing to detect COVID-19 cases and contact tracing, highlighting examples such as South Korea and Iceland, where it has been invested in efficient screening techniques that cost less than 1% of its GDP.

The director general of the Organization said that where rigorous tests are carried out, labor markets are improving.

“In countries where there has been testing and tracking, the reduction in working hours has been approximately 7%, while in those with less intensive testing and tracking, that figure rises to 14%,” explained Guy Ryder at the virtual press conference to present the report.

The ILO reports that, in countries with a robust testing and tracing system, the average decrease in working hours is lower for three reasons: testing and tracing reduces reliance on strict containment measures; they promote the confidence of citizens and, consequently, stimulate consumption and support employment; and they help minimize the disruption of activities in the workplace.

Additionally, testing and tracing can by themselves create new, albeit temporary, jobs that may be targeted at youth and other priority groups.

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ONU Mujeres / Joe Saade
Sandy Lyen is a 20-year-old cabinetmaker and businesswoman from Beirut, Lebanon. Sandy is creating new and innovative opportunities for self-employment by tapping into the growing Lebanese market for locally made artisan products.

America, the most affected region

According to ILO data, workers in the American continent have suffered the most from the economic impact of the pandemic in terms of working hours, with a drop of 13.1% as of April. Employees in Europe and Central Asia continue to be affected with 12.9%.

Ryder stressed that this information coincides with the statement by the World Health Organization that Latin America is the current epicenter of COVID-19.

Referring to Africa, he considered very worrying “the coincidence of a young and strong population, highly informal economies and limited testing and tracking capabilities.”

“I don’t want to call it the perfect storm, but it is a combination of circumstances that, it seems to me, could damage labor markets in the long run. It is a particularly delicate situation, ”he said.

Protect the young

The ILO details that in 2019 the world youth unemployment rate reached 13.6% and was higher than that of any other group. At that time, 267 million young people in the world were neither working nor receiving any education or vocational training.

In addition, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who were employed, held low-paid jobs, were in the informal sector or were migrant workers.

The ILO director general said that if immediate and significant measures are not taken to improve the situation of this population group, the legacy of the coronavirus will affect the entire society for decades.

“If your talent and energy are marginalized due to a lack of opportunities or skills, this will damage the future of all of us and make it much more difficult to rebuild a better post-COVID economy,” Ryder warned.

In this regard, the Organization urged the implementation of concrete and large-scale policies for the protection and specific support of young people in both industrialized economies and those of low and middle income.

Women

The ILO study shows that unemployment among young women has risen rapidly since February. The pandemic hits them “harder and faster than any other group,” Ryder said.

He also recalled that young women represented a high proportion of the informal and care sector, both collapsed since the closures of activities.

Ryder added, however, that even before the outbreak of the coronavirus in December last year, youth unemployment was already worse than during the economic crisis of 2008-2009.

Lost generation?

The head of the Organization mentioned the fear that there is “a lost generation” that faces permanent exclusion from the labor markets and warned that “many young people will be left behind” when the world recovers from the pandemic.

“We see that all over the world there are situations of tension, sometimes very high. I think this should attract our attention and focus on correct responses in the health, economic and social fields for a better reconstruction, ”Ryder said.

27 Mayo 2020
Economic Affairs

The impact of COVID-19 has been disproportionate among young workers. More than one in six is ​​unemployed and the hours of those who have kept their jobs have fallen by 23%, according to the most recent report by the international body that deals with labor issues.

More than 16% of young people have not worked since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, reveals a study by the International Labor Organization released this Wednesday, which ensures that youth are disproportionately affected by the economic-social effects of the health emergency.

The “ILO Observatory: COVID-19 and the world of work” also notes that the working hours of young people who have kept their jobs have decreased by 23%.

It also indicates that the rapid and substantial increase in youth unemployment registered since February affects women more than men.

The report warns that the pandemic has a triple impact on young people since, in addition to destroying their jobs, it impacts their education and training and fills the path of those seeking to enter the job market or change jobs with obstacles.

Testing, tracing and job market

To reactivate the economy and the workplace, the International Labor Organization urges governments to increase testing to detect COVID-19 cases and contact tracing, highlighting examples such as South Korea and Iceland, where it has been invested in efficient screening techniques that cost less than 1% of its GDP.

The director general of the Organization said that where rigorous tests are carried out, labor markets are improving.

“In countries where there has been testing and tracking, the reduction in working hours has been approximately 7%, while in those with less intensive testing and tracking, that figure rises to 14%,” explained Guy Ryder at the virtual press conference to present the report.

The ILO reports that, in countries with a robust testing and tracing system, the average decrease in working hours is lower for three reasons: testing and tracing reduces reliance on strict containment measures; they promote the confidence of citizens and, consequently, stimulate consumption and support employment; and they help minimize the disruption of activities in the workplace.

Additionally, testing and tracing can by themselves create new, albeit temporary, jobs that may be targeted at youth and other priority groups.

[Descarga nuestra aplicación Noticias ONU para IOS o Android. O subscríbete a nuestro boletín.]

ONU Mujeres / Joe Saade
Sandy Lyen is a 20-year-old cabinetmaker and businesswoman from Beirut, Lebanon. Sandy is creating new and innovative opportunities for self-employment by tapping into the growing Lebanese market for locally made artisan products.

America, the most affected region

According to ILO data, workers in the American continent have suffered the most from the economic impact of the pandemic in terms of working hours, with a drop of 13.1% as of April. Employees in Europe and Central Asia continue to be affected with 12.9%.

Ryder stressed that this information coincides with the statement by the World Health Organization that Latin America is the current epicenter of COVID-19.

Referring to Africa, he considered very worrying “the coincidence of a young and strong population, highly informal economies and limited testing and tracking capabilities.”

“I don’t want to call it the perfect storm, but it is a combination of circumstances that, it seems to me, could damage labor markets in the long run. It is a particularly delicate situation, ”he said.

Protect the young

The ILO details that in 2019 the world youth unemployment rate reached 13.6% and was higher than that of any other group. At that time, 267 million young people in the world were neither working nor receiving any education or vocational training.

In addition, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who were employed, held low-paid jobs, were in the informal sector or were migrant workers.

The ILO director general said that if immediate and significant measures are not taken to improve the situation of this population group, the legacy of the coronavirus will affect the entire society for decades.

“If your talent and energy are marginalized due to a lack of opportunities or skills, this will damage the future of all of us and make it much more difficult to rebuild a better post-COVID economy,” Ryder warned.

In this regard, the Organization urged the implementation of concrete and large-scale policies for the protection and specific support of young people in both industrialized economies and those of low and middle income.

Women

The ILO study shows that unemployment among young women has risen rapidly since February. The pandemic hits them “harder and faster than any other group,” Ryder said.

He also recalled that young women represented a high proportion of the informal and care sector, both collapsed since the closures of activities.

Ryder added, however, that even before the outbreak of the coronavirus in December last year, youth unemployment was already worse than during the economic crisis of 2008-2009.

Lost generation?

The head of the Organization mentioned the fear that there is “a lost generation” that faces permanent exclusion from the labor markets and warned that “many young people will be left behind” when the world recovers from the pandemic.

“We see that all over the world there are situations of tension, sometimes very high. I think this should attract our attention and focus on correct responses in the health, economic and social fields for a better reconstruction, ”Ryder said.