A new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has revealed that a total of 156 million youth in emerging and developing countries (sub-Saharan Africa,Latin America and the Caribbean) live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than US$1.90 per capita per day.
At best, some are estimated to live in moderate poverty of between US$1.90 and US$3.10, despite being in employment.
This is just as the ILO has also said that due to an expanding labour force, unemployed youth globally will rise by half a million in 2016 to reach 71 million and will remain at this level in 2017.
In a climate of renewed concerns about global economic growth, youth unemployment according to the body, is on the rise after several years of improvement.
The forecast data underlining this report are derived from the ILO’s Trends Econometric Models, managed by Stefan Kühn and Steven Kapsos, it indicated.
The report further stated that, in developed countries, the unemployment rate among youth is anticipated to be the highest globally in 2016 (14.5 per cent or 9.8 million) and although the rate is expected to decline in 2017, the pace of improvement will slow (falling only to 14.3 per cent in 2017).
The ILO observed that unemployment figures understate the true extent of youth labour market challenges since large numbers of young people are working, but do not earn enough to lift themselves out of poverty.
“In fact, roughly 156 million youth in emerging and developing countries live in extreme poverty (i.e. on less than US$1.90 per capita per day) or in moderate poverty (i.e. on between US$1.90 and US$3.10) despite being in employment. Moreover, youth exhibit a higher incidence of working poverty than adults: 37.7 per cent of working youth are living in extreme or moderate poverty in 2016, compared to 26 per cent of working adults,” the report read in part.
Meanwhile, in developed countries with available information, youth are more at risk of relative poverty (defined here as living on less than 60 per cent of median income) despite having a job. For example, the share of employed youth categorized as being at risk of poverty was 12.9 per cent in the European Union-28 in 2014, compared to 9.6 per cent of working adults, aged 25–54.
In addition to low pay, young people frequently work involuntarily in informal, part-time or temporary jobs. For example, in the EU-28, among youth employed in part-time or temporary positions in 2014, approximately 29 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, are doing so involuntarily, the ILO’s report revealed.
The deterioration according to the report is particularly marked in emerging countries where the unemployment rate is predicted to rise from 13.3 per cent in 2015 to 13.7 per cent in 2017 (a figure which corresponds to 53.5 million unemployed in 2017, compared to 52.9 million in 2015). The youth unemployment rate in developing countries is expected to remain relatively stable, at around 9.5 per cent in 2016, but in terms of absolute numbers it should increase by around 0.2 million in 2016 to reach 7.9 million unemployed youth in 2017, largely due to an expanding labour force it stated.
“Facing the prospect of unemployment, working poverty and/or vulnerable forms of employment, young people tend to look abroad for better education and employment opportunities,” the report further revealed.
In 2015, almost 51 million international migrants were aged between of 15 and 29, more than half of whom resided in developed economies. Additionally, in 2015, 20 per cent of the global youth population in this age range was willing to move permanently to another country. At the regional level, the willingness to migrate among youth is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, at 38 per cent in 2015, followed closely by Eastern Europe at 37 per cent.