Rising youth unemployment could endanger Asia’s social stability.
Asia must come to grips soon with the growing number of unemployed young people or it risks increasing social problems or even violence, as witnessed in cities in Europe and throughout the Arab world, say labour specialists.
“Seventy-five million youth, under the age of 24, across the world are currently unemployed — with almost half of them in Asia,” says John B. Trew, a youth employment specialist at Plan International.
“This is a very critical problem for the region which may pose a threat to stable development of these emerging economies. Some actions have to be taken now and everyone must see this as a shared responsibility rather than an individualistic concern.”
According to the UN International Labour Organization, the unemployment rate among people under 24 remained high at 12.6% last year and the total was expected to reach 95 million worldwide in 2015. Of this number, 14% will be in Southeast Asia countries alone.
The ILO figures are just the tip of the iceberg. In many countries, underemployment among young people is a bigger problem than outright joblessness. Millions of young people can only find work sporadically, or they’re working at jobs far below the skill levels for which they were trained…