African Youth Employment vs Unemployment

With further insight into the African Youth Employment rate, the following information is from the ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013 report

The African Youth Employment rate is still low and there is certainly room for  more change.  Did you know that two thirds of working age youth in certain developing countries are either unemployed or stuck in low-quality jobs.

Out of the 10 countries surveyed for the report, more than 60% of young people are either unemployed or working in low quality, irregular, low wage jobs. These jobs are often found in the informal economy, or neither in the labour force nor in education or training.  In Liberia, Malawi and Togo, the figure of youth employment exceeds 70%.

African youth employment is critical if Africa wants to fully and meaningfully grow. The waste of economic potential in developing economies including some in Africa, is sad to say the least. For an overwhelming number of African youth this means a job does not necessarily equate to a decent living.

Further adding to the sad news, when surveys are conducted that includes African youth who are not actively looking for work, the unemployment rate is much higher than published figures suggest. This unfortunately, is the case with Liberia, Malawi, Togo and others where the African

youth unemployment rate is pretty much double the size then what published figures reveal.

For certain countries, unemployment can impact up to one-quarter of the youth population; yet, these young people have no access to social protection.

At the same time, those who are employed tend to work in the informal sector and receive low wages. In Liberia, Malawi and a few other international countries, more than over 80% of youth employment is in the informal economy and two thirds of youth employment are underpaid.

Across Africa and other foreign developing economies, standards of education have increased but remain somewhat low with only small proportions receiving a secondary education qualification

The private sector, educators, and governments will need to collaborate to help young people secure employment as a means to further improve the rate of youth employment in Africa.

In developing countries, job satisfaction is surprisingly high, despite low job quality – an indication of the sheer absence of decent work opportunities that forces young people to accept any type of employment.


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