UN Calls for Action After Rise in Youth Unemployment
With youth unemployment predicted to rise for the first time in three years, the United Nations is calling for increased efforts to increase sustainable employment.

The newest information comes from a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) titled, “ World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth.” The data indicates that the youth unemployment level is set to rise to 13.1 percent in 2016, a rise of over half a million people. It will likely remain at that level through 2017.

Even more troubling, says the ILO, is that approximately 37.7 percent of working youth remain in moderate to extreme poverty. This is alarming in comparison to the 26 percent of working adults.

Deborah Greenfield, the ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy explained in a statement that these figures could make it difficult to reach the development goals set by the U.N.

“This research also highlights wide disparities between young women and men in the labor market ,” she added.

However, the ILO, in conjunction with 21 entities in the United Nations, is making an effort to support youth in the labor market by developing the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth. This collaboration works together with governments, the private sector, academia and civil society to scale up the impact investments can make on youth unemployment.

The initiative is partnering with the Partnership for Action on Green Economy to ensure the creation of “green” jobs in the marketplace. They are also working with the Global Apprentice’s Network to create quality apprenticeships. The focus is on targeting youth in fragile states and in the informal, rural and digital economies.

Even though the U.N.’s latest report is certainly troublesome, it by no means represents the final state of affairs for youth unemployment — especially not with organizations such as the ILO and the U.N. working tirelessly to change things.

Sabrina Santos

Photo: Flickr

The Great Recession brought economic progress to a virtual standstill in the Western World: property values plummeted, the stock market took a hit to the gut and unemployment rates spiked. In the United States, investors and employees are slowly getting back on their feet, but are still anxious due to the ping-pongish activity of the Dow Jones and mediocre new job numbers from the Department of Labor.

While Americans struggle to digest their nation’s 6.7 percent unemployment rate, some Europeans are choking on jobless numbers affecting upwards of 20 percent of the workforce, even over five years after the economy first took a nosedive.

The European Union’s austerity measures have yet to restore stability to pre-bailout levels and a recent Oxfam report revealed “only the richest 10 percent of Europeans…have seen their wealth rise” as a result of the well-intentioned policies. Macroeconomists measure the ongoing crisis in terms of government debt, budget deficits and income inequality, but the individuals and families affected in floundering nations like Spain feel the sting of poverty in an acute and personal way.

Spain, a pillar of culture and history on the European continent, hosts millions of tourists each year who yearn for a taste of Hispanic culture and a hint of the nation’s unique flavor. Few westerners would suppose that a historic power player overflowing with natural beauty is home to a poverty rate on par with former socialist nations Romania and Bulgaria.

Spain’s saga followed the same basic trajectory as that of the United States. In 2008, following a property boom, regional governments that had raked up pricey expenses found themselves with empty pockets and out-of-control debts. A shaky central government with debt of its own was unable to provide enough federal assistance to localities and the nation found itself in an economic tailspin.

E.U. interventions such as the aforementioned austerity measures have thus far been ineffective in creating jobs and a critical portion of the Spanish workforce has emigrated in search of opportunities suited for their skill set. Those remaining must clamor for dwindling, low-paying positions.

Many former middle class Spanish families have found themselves unexpectedly living under the poverty line.

A whopping 15 percent of Spaniards subsist on less than half of the national median income and nearly 10 percent have unfortunately arrived at “great poverty” status, indicating a household income below 40 percent of the national average. For Spaniards, these rates translate into monthly earnings of below 555 euros and 444 euros, respectively, for the two groups.

Women and young people are disproportionately affected by poverty in Spain. According to Eurostat, a full 1.2 percentage points (to the detriment of females) separate the number of impoverished men and women. Similarly, six percent more young people fewer than 25 years of age suffer in poverty than Spanish citizens in their late twenties and beyond.

Rising power bills, a frozen minimum wage and more expensive public transportation will add to the burden for a generation of Spaniards who, on an aggregate level, greet 2014 “a little poorer.”

Frustrated citizens, the backbone of 2011’s “los indignados” movement (a precursor to Occupy Wall Street,) will continue to push back against policy decisions negatively impacting an increasingly impoverished working class. Poverty will be synonymous with reality for over 20 percent of Spaniards until Spain’s anemic economy is jump-started back to life.

Casey Ernstes

Sources: Eurostat, Forbes, Global Research Centre for Research on Globalization, Inequality Watch, Oxfam International, The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post WorldPost
Photo: Food Not Bombs

Global Unemployement
Many countries measure their unemployment rate differently. However, unemployed people are individuals who are actively seeking for job but could not obtain jobs. Reason for unemployment varies from economy downturn, and changes of particular industry to lack of required skills.

In third world countries, global unemployment is cause by overpopulation and lack of education. Unemployment rate is one of the biggest indicators of the economy, but it is also one of the biggest indicators of poverty. Countries with high unemployment rate normally have high level of poverty.

An example of the relationship between poverty and unemployment rate is Greece. In 2008, Greece unemployment rate was 7.7%, but after the economics crisis, the unemployment rate rose to 23.8% in 2012. The same situation is spotted in Spain. Spain’s unemployment rate in 2012 is 24.9%. Even though these numbers are high, but African countries are at alarming levels. Some high unemployment rates in Africa are: Kenya (40%), Congo (49.1%), and Djibouti (59.5%).

In the United States, the unemployment rate is only 7.7% in 2013, but it results in slow economic recovery and more people each day is living under poverty level. With only half of the population employed, these countries do not have enough income to distribute among all their citizens.

Half of the people are unable to support themselves with adequate shelters, food, and medical supply. In developed countries such as the United States, the government offers welfare for unemployed citizens to maintain the standard of living. However, in developing countries, welfare programs do not exist or are very limited. Unemployed individuals are struggling every for their basic needs.

When the world economy is recording due to the emerging market, many people are still suffering from the impact of the economic crisis.

Phong Pham

Sources: Huffingtion Post, International Labour Organization, Trading Economics, Global Finance