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Unemployment Crisis Amongst the Educated Youth

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After spending a whole half-day within the halls of IT firms and software companies, Rajat heads back home in the evening only to once again open up his laptop to apply for more jobs and confirm upcoming interview dates. He has been doing this for nearly two years. Rajat’s unemployment predicament is not his alone. All around the world for the past decade there has been an ongoing global youth unemployment crisis.

youth unemployment, unemployment rate
Get busy living or get busy dying.

The more educated you are, the higher are the chances of unemployment. It seems controversial or against general wisdom but it’s true.

Who are the “unemployed educated” youth? Where and since when has this been an issue?
There are 1.2 billion youth in the world (between the ages of 15-24) – accounting for 17% of the world’s population. Among them, those who are not in education, employment, or training but are actively seeking work are defined as an “unemployed” youth by the United Nations.

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Youth unemployment rates tend to be higher than the adult rates in nearly every country in the world. – Source

Although the global economy has fairly grown over the past two decades, youngsters today are less likely to secure a decent job than labor market entrants in 1995. Economic growth has not translated into sufficient levels of jobs creation, especially for youth all around the world. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) there are 71 million unemployed youth worldwide.

educated unemployment from 1995 – 2015, youth unemployment
Youth unemployment rates 1995-2015

This crisis is prevalent in both developed as well as developing countries. Graduates and youth who have completed their secondary studies make up most of the unemployed. Among the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries; in cities such as Britain of United Kingdom; one in five young people can’t find work. Those that do, are predominantly hired as a temporary contractor or on an internship basis – most of which are underpaid or unpaid. Hence, many are dependent on their parents until their late twenties. As a result, many graduates are now questioning the necessity of incurring large student debts for a degree that does not give them an advantage in the job market.

graduate unemployment rate, youth unemployment

Similarly, amidst developing nations such as India, the rate of unemployment increases with an increase in levels of education. But when it comes to the issue of gender bias, it becomes obvious that women face much higher rates of unemployment as against their male counterparts across all educational categories. Additionally, south Asian women do not work after secondary education due to cultural reasons.

“Those who have had below secondary education have better chances of employment than those who have had their secondary education.” – source

Those whose families are economically better off tend to stay with them until they find a suitable job that may accommodate a livelihood. Others settle for work that they are either overqualified for or one in the informal sector. Such was the case in September 2015 when Ph.D. holders applied for the Uttar Pradesh government secretariat peon post in India. While the educated fight for jobs they are overqualified for, the impoverished face a catch-22 situation. I.e They need higher education to earn more money but they need more money for obtaining a higher education.

About Post Author

Dennis Johnson

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