Youth labor force shrinks despite economic recovery | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 21.11.2017
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Youth labor force shrinks despite economic recovery

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has pointed out that youth unemployment remains a major modern-day concern. Young people's labor force participation has declined sharply in the past two decades.

In a fresh annual report, the International Labor Organization said Monday that between 1997 and 2017, the youth population grew by 139 million people, while the global youth labor force shrank by 35 million people.

The survey noted that an estimated 70.9 million young people were unemployed globally in 2017.

The youth unemployment rate for this year stands at 13.1 percent, being the highest in the Arab states at 30 percent.

Across OECD countries, the group of the most advanced industrialized nations, almost 18 percent of unemployed young people were found to be without work for a year or longer. ILO's latest data showed that 76.7 percent of working young people were in informal jobs, compared with 57.9 percent of working adults.

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The report estimated that between now and 2030, 25.6 million young workers aged 15 to 29 would enter the labor force and would need jobs, with the increase in the youth labor force to occur almost entirely in Africa.

ILO officials warned that new automation and digital technologies posed further challenges. It argued that demand would increase for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and decrease for many medium-level skills.

The report expressed the hope that young workers who grew up as digital natives "should be well-placed to adapt to new jobs and continuous change.

It concluded that new forms of employment like crowd working and the gig economy presented opportunities because of their flexibility, but also dangers because of the lack of regulation.

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