Youth Unemployment is a Major Risk

Even though we can hear the time bomb of youth unemployment ticking, few governments have ambition or courage to tackle the problem.  Youth unemployment – referring to those who are between 16 and 24 years old – currently stands at 13 percent (or some 73 million young persons), according to the International Labor Organization Worldwide, who calls it “a generation at risk”.

Given the weak economic state of many countries, youth unemployment has been increasing in most of part of the world. One may imagine that China – perhaps the only major country in the world that is experiencing strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth at this moment – would have a low rate of youth unemployment. And this could be the case. According to the official figures in 2010, it stands at 4.1 percent, which is significantly lower than Germany’s currently exceptionally small 9 percent.

However, figures from the Middle Kingdom are not necessarily comparable because it does not use internationally accepted metrics to measure youth unemployment. The result is that different sources reveal different pictures. For instance, a report prepared by the China Household Finance Survey in 2012, puts China’s youth unemployment at 8.1 percent. Others suggest that the rate to be as high as 20 percent.


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