March 24, 2015

Youth in developing countries facing rising jobs shortage

British MEPs are warning that population increases in developing countries pose serious risks to youth unemployment over the coming years.

The latest report from the Commons International Development Committee (IDC) asserts that the youth population in developing countries is increasing faster than job rates. The report estimates that around 600m young people will be competing for around 200m jobs over the next decade.

The IDC’s Chair Sir Malcolm Bruce commented: "No one, not national governments nor donor agencies, are doing enough to defuse the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment in developing countries across the globe. The complacent assumptions about population growth slowing are being proven wrong."

However, population demographics alone cannot be blamed for poor youth employment opportunities. David Lam opposes the notion that youth bulges are responsible for these youth unemployment levels, arguing that the youth-share of the working age population has declined in recent decades while youth unemployment has not. He says that policies aimed at boosting education and labor market flexibility should take priority to improve youth employment.

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