Youth Unemployment and the emergence of the discouraged job seeker

Young people remain particularly stricken by the global financial crisis. Currently, some 73.8 million young people are unemployed globally and the slowdown in economic activity is likely to push another half million into unemployment by 2014.

The youth unemployment rate – which had already increased to 12.6% in 2012 – is expected to increase to 12.9% by 2017. The crisis has dramatically diminished the labour market prospects for young people, and many experience long-term unemployment right from the start of their labour market entry, a situation that was never observed during previous cyclical downturns.

Currently, some 35% of all young unemployed have been out of a job for six months or longer in advanced economies. As a consequence, an increasing number of young people have become discouraged and have left the labour market. Long spells of unemployment and discouragement early on in a person’s career also damages their long-term prospects, as professional and social skills erode and valuable on-the-job experience is not built up.

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