Coronavirus inflicts triple shock on young people, says ILO

Cheryl Sanders
May 29, 2020

"Perhaps the most important conclusion in our monitor is that of young people who were working prior to the pandemic, well more than one in six of those young people is now no longer working", Ryder said.

According to the latest ILO Monitor report, young women have been most affected by a rapid increase in unemployment since February. Not exclusively is it destroying their employment, however it's also disrupting training and coaching, and inserting main obstacles in the way in which of these looking for to enter the labour market or to transfer between jobs.

The report also says that rigorous testing and tracing of infections strongly translates to lower labour market disruption than do confinement and lockdown measures.

The UN says global youth unemployment before COVID-19 stood at 13.6 percent.


To somewhat tackle this crisis, the ILO made a decision to take up certain policies and immediate measures to support the working youth and that includes, broad-based employment, training guarantee programmes in developed countries, employment-intensive programmes, guarantee to low and middle-class economies, supporting enterprises and lastly protecting workers in their workplace. "If their talent and energy is side-lined by a lack of opportunity or skills it will damage all our futures and make it much more hard to re-build a better, post-Covid economy", said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

The agency calls for targeted intervention by governments to guarantee employment and training for young people in low and middle-income countries that may need foreign support both for finance and implementation. In particular, global patterns in lost working hours in the first quarter were largely driven by the "exceptional impact of the COVID-19 crisis in China during that quarter", the ILO said.

Among the young workers who are not in employment, education or training, over 31% of them are young women, while 13.9% are young men.

The 4th edition of the Monitor also looks at measures to create a safe environment for returning to work.


The Geneva-based, United Nations body estimates that working hour losses can be reduced from about 14 per cent in countries that put in place weak track-and-trace systems down to 7 per cent in countries with the "highest intensity of tracking and tracing".

Asia and the Pacific have seen a 10% decline in working hours in the second quarter of 2020, which was 6.5% in the first quarter.

Nearly three-quarters of the young people working in these four sectors, or 131 million, are informally employed so they are neither taxed nor monitored by any form of government.

Furthermore, PTs can themselves create new, albeit temporary, jobs that may be targeted at youth and other priority groups.


ILO reiterated immediate and urgent measures are needed to support workers and enterprises along the ILO's four-pillar strategy that includes stimulating the economy and employment; supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes; protecting workers in the workplace and relying on social dialogue for solutions.

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