According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook 2016 report, the global number of unemployed youth is expected to reach 71 million by the end of this year, half a million more than in 2015 .
Also of concern is the rising number of employed youth who still live in extreme or moderate poverty, a trend that is especially prevalent in emerging and developing economies.
“The alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty show how difficult it will be to reach the global goal to end poverty by 2030 unless we redouble our efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work,” ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Policy Deborah Greenfield said in a statement.
“This research also highlights wide disparities between young women and men in the labour market that need to be addressed by ILO member States and the social partners urgently,” she added.
According to figures, the labour force participation rate for young men stands at 53.9 percent in 2016, compared to 37.3 percent for their female counterparts.
This disparity in employment levels is particularly visible in Southern Asia, the Arab States and Northern Africa, ILO explained.
A number of emerging economies in these regions have also witnessed economic downturns, a factor which has contributed to the rise of youth unemployment, ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report Steven Tobin explained.
“This is driven by a deeper than expected recession in some key emerging commodity-exporting countries and stagnating growth in some developed countries,” he said.
“The rise in youth unemployment rates is particularly marked in emerging countries,” he added.
Figures show that the unemployment rate in the latter is set to reach 13.7 percent in 2017, up from 13.3 percent a year ago.
This, combined with armed conflicts, natural disasters and the increased susceptibility to working poverty and the lack of decent job opportunities has spurred many to migrate in search of better lives.
According to the ILO, one in five 15 to 29 year-olds across the world were willing to permanently move away from their country of origin in 2015.