According to the new report of the Solutions for Youth Employment Coalition (pdf), prepared by the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, and other groups, what we see today is a “generation in economic crisis.”
That’s because youth make up nearly a quarter of the world’s population, and nearly 85 percent live in lower-income countries and fragile states, but young people account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s unemployed and are at least twice as likely—and up to four times more likely—to be unemployed than adults. As a result, in 2014, about 500 million youth were unemployed, inactive, underemployed, or working in insecure jobs.
And, over the next decade, a billion more young people will enter the job market but only 40 percent are expected to be able to enter jobs that currently exist. Therefore, the global economy will need to create 600 million jobs over the next ten years: that’s 5 million jobs each month simply to keep employment rates constant!
And if we don’t? Then, according to the authors of the report,
governments forgo tax revenue and incur the cost of social safety nets, unemployment benefits and insurances, and lost productivity. Businesses risk losing a generation of consumers. Social costs are ever mounting as well. The Arab Spring and subsequent youth-led uprisings in many countries, along with the rise of economic insurgency and youth extremism, demand that we explore the links between economic participation, inequality, and community security, crime, and national fragility through a lens focused on youth.
In other words, an entire generation will be lost.