Making Cents International
Originally posted on Devex.com, September 22, 2014.
Making Cents International
According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.
The demographic dividend has been touted as a potential source of growth for the African continent and its relatively young population. In the same vein, it comes with the challenge of employment creation that can absorb the large cohort of youth that is set to enter sub-Saharan
Africa’s labor markets in the approaching decades. Less positively, however, countries that fail to plan accordingly might miss these potential opportunities or the resulting youth bulge could increase the risk of social tension and other risks arising from high youth unemployment rates.
How can we provide employment to the 1.8 billion young people that live on this planet? Will we have enough jobs for all these young people? Will there be sufficient high-quality and high-productivity work, especially for women, who are often the most vulnerable when it comes to finding meaningful work? The size of the youth employment challenge – and opportunity – is enormous. That’s why we need all the help we can get.
Africa’s rise has not taken its young people along with it. Economies riding the resource boom of the last decade are coming back down with a thud, exposing that the steep rise in GDPs that lent itself to the “Africa rising” narrative did little for the continent’s youth. The youth bulge that was supposed to energize the continent’s resurgence is increasingly looking like a threat.
Currently, about 73 million youth worldwide are looking for work. Those who succeed in finding employment are typically hired into low-skilled, low-productivity positions, often in the informal sector. For those who don’t find work, the impact of long-term unemployment can be devastating and have long-lasting impacts, putting social cohesion at threat.
International Labour Organization
Young Mongolians continue to experience difficulties in their journey towards the labour market. The 2014 labour force data reveals an unemployment rate of 17.4 per cent among young people. Many young Mongolians also experience a lengthy period of unemployment before finding a job. For those who are in work, many young people are often found in the informal economy, which absorbs over 90 per cent of rural working youth and nearly one- third of urban youth. There is also evidence that despite greater educational attainment by young women, their prospects in the labour market remain limited.
Youth Education and Employment Profiles, produced by FHI 360's Education Policy and Data Center, present education and employment characteristics of youth across countries. Data are drawn from School to Work Transition Surveys (SWTS), which were carried out in 32 countries between 2013 and 2015. Funded by the Mastercard Foundation and supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), they paint a comprehensive picture of youth employment, educational attainment, and schooling across countries.
Young people play a vital role in fostering global economic development.In the face of weak prospects for global economic growth, their involvement in the formal economy becomes increasingly relevant and urgent. In recent years, there has been much talk about the demographic dividend in most emerging economies and less-developed countries, a scenario where a larger proportion of the overall population is of working age.
The World Bank
Do you remember how you felt when you graduated from high-school or college? Like me, you probably experienced some uncertainty and anxiety about what comes next, asking questions such as: “Will I get a job, and if so, where?