Youth Employment

Youth Employment

The share of young people neither in employment nor in education (NEET) has not changed much from 2005 (22.8 per cent) to 2018 (22.1 per cent). During this period more and more young people are attending an educational institution however, a significant group of the world’s youth (mostly women) seem to remain away from advantages brought by earning their own money or completing higher levels of education.

At the global level, the labour force participation rates of youth (ages 15-24) tend to decline. The “Global Employment Trends for Youth” report released by the ILO in March 2020 showed that while the youth population increased from 1 billion to 1.3 billion in 1999-2019, the size of youth in active labour markets receded to 497 million from 568 million.

Of the global youth, 126 million live below the relative poverty line with a 3.20 USD of daily income, and 55 million live under the absolute poverty line with 2.00 USD of daily income1 .

Millions of youth are trapped in temporary and non-voluntary part-time or non-standard forms of employment and short-term contracts that offer little return and limited prospects of progress in the world of work and private life. Young women face more challenges in accessing decent jobs resulting particularly from the traditional gender roles.

In addition, the increasing skills mismatch adversely affects unemployment figures, making school-to-work transition harder and pushing further up the number of youth not in education or employment.

Unfortunately, youth finding jobs does not necessarily mean that they attain a better private and work life. 3 out of 4 young people are employed informally with no social security2 .

The COVID-19 crisis has further deepened the youth unemployment problem making access to quality education or decent jobs even more difficult. ILO’s studies show that 1 out of 6 working young people has left work due to the Coronavirus3 .

Youth Employment in Turkey

Turkey’s late 2018 economic recession not only ended a period of increasing employment levels but also slashed more than 700,000 jobs. These losses affected young people (15-24) in terms of a tougher labour market and can be measured by increases in their NEET rate (21.9 to 23.5 per cent, 2018-2019) and unemployment rate (20.3 to 25.4 per cent, 2018-2019. Just when the economy had started growing again the COVID-19 pandemic arrived to Turkey bringing the NEET rate further up to 27.1 per cent as of November 2020.

As addressed in the ILO reports given below, which discuss the youth employment from various perspectives, young people work in precarious and informal jobs more than the adults and therefore hit by COVID-19 pandemic the hardest: The risk of losing jobs is three times higher for young people than adults.

The “Youth and COVID-19: Access to Decent Jobs Amid the Pandemic” report conducted in Turkey (available below) notes that 77% of the young respondents from Turkey and 61% of young refugee respondents report that COVID-19 has adversely affected their job search. The youth further report that available jobs have diminished, and negative responses to their job applications have increased.

ILO and the UNDP work together in addressing the youth unemployment in Turkey. They have jointly organised a number of workshops, broadcast and podcasts on youth employment aiming to draw attention to the issues youth face in accessing decent jobs while contributing to the policy discussions in this regard.