The worst places in the world to be a young person looking for work

The line is getting longer.
The line is getting longer.
Image: AP Photo / Daniel Ochoa de Olza
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Young people around the world have struggled to find work since the financial crisis hit. This year, job prospects aren’t any rosier, announced the International Labour Organization on Oct. 8.

In 2015, the global unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 is expected to tick up slightly, the United Nations agency showed in its annual report on global youth employment trends (pdf). The shift—from 13% to 13.1%—is not dramatic, but it’s still dishearteningly far from the 2007 pre-crisis global rate of 11.7%.

On a regional level, the data is both encouraging and troubling. On one hand, it indicates that young people in developed countries are leaving the workforce to further their educations, and that unemployment in the euro zone is easing. But it’s also a sign that the job market is worsening for youths in emerging economies.

Youth joblessness rates in the Middle East and North Africa are “alarmingly” high, according to the report. Across these regions, more than one in four active young people are unable to find work.

“Recovery is not universal and many young women and men remain shaken by changing patterns in the world of work,” said Sara Elder, the report’s lead author. “Youth in developing countries continue to be plagued by working poverty stemming from the irregularity of work and lack of formal employment and social protection.”