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The probability of
young, economically active, people finding themselves in unemployment remains
considerably higher than for the rest of the population. In such regions as the
Arab States, Northern Africa and Southern Asia, youth comprise more than 40
percent of the total unemployed population, despite representing only 17
percent or less of the labour force within their respective regions. In
Northern, Southern and Western Europe, youth represent around 20 percent of the
total unemployed and around 10 percent of the total labour force. The ratio of
the youth-to-adult unemployment rate at the global level is an estimated 3.0 in
2017, with no change from the ratio ten years prior, due in part, to
improvements in Eastern Asia and Northern America. However, over the past
decade, youth unemployment rates have risen faster than the adult rates in half
of the regions analysed. The most severe growth in the ratio took place in
Southern Asia and South-Eastern Asia and the Pacific. In South-Eastern Asia and
the Pacific, youth unemployment rates are more than five times higher than the
adult rates. Not far behind are the Arab States and Southern Asia, where the
ratios are 4.5 and 3.9, respectively, in 2017. At the same time, especially in
developed countries, many young people experience extended periods of
unemployment, which can potentially hinder their skills development, future
employability and earning capacity. For instance, across Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, almost 18 percent of
unemployed youth were without work for a year or longer in 2016. In the first
quarter of 2017, this share was nearly 29 percent of unemployed youth in the 28
member countries of the European Union(EU-28), reaching almost 33 percent in
the euro area. The long duration of
unemployment spells risk leading to youth labour market detachment, especially
among young women and men seeking their
first job. Across OECD countries, there is
2.8 million youth in 2017 marginally attached to the labour market – neither
employed nor actively looking for work but willing to work and available to
take a job.

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