Deeper Social Unrest Ahead

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ALMOST 13% of young people worldwide are out of work, and their situation is unlikely to improve for four years, a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said.

Released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the UN agency report said there was, ‘a potentially dangerous gap between profits and people’.

The report highlights that many skilled young people are being forced into part-time and unskilled work.

It warns of a ‘crisis’ with more than six million people so disillusioned they have given up looking for work.

The world unemployment rate rose to 6% in 2013 and the report also forecasts that millions more will become unemployed this year as companies choose to increase payouts to shareholders rather than invest in new jobs.

Since 2007, the number of young people without jobs has risen by four million – taking the total to more than 12%, the Global Employment Trends for Youth report says.

13.1% of people aged between 15 and 24 – or almost 75 million – have no work.

In the European Union, one in five young people are looking for work and some 27.9% of youths were unemployed in North Africa last year – a rise of five percentage points on 2010.

In the Middle East, the figure stood at 26.5% in the report’s regional breakdown.

The report said, ‘Even in East Asia, perhaps the most economically dynamic region, the unemployment rate was 2.8 times higher for young people than for adults.’

The ILO report also said many young people are extending their time in higher education because they cannot find jobs.

Others are taking part-time unskilled work because they cannot find work in the fields they trained for.

The ILO says that more than six million young people worldwide have given up looking for work and are becomingly ‘increasingly detached from society’ and, not using their skills, they are losing them.

The report concluded that if there is no improvement in the jobs market soon, they may be not only unemployed, but unemployable.

ILO Director General spoke about the report highlighting the rise in inequality as a powder keg.

‘If we fail to tackle the youth job cuts crisis, we will be destroying hopes for sustainable growth – and sowing the seeds of further and perhaps deeper social unrest.’