Glossary

Youth unemployment rate

What is youth unemployment?

Youth unemployment represents the percentage of individuals between ages 15 and 24 who are unemployed and looking for a job. Although there are debates regarding the ages considered for this calculation, this range has been established by the United Nations and is widely adopted at this time.

Youth unemployment generates long-term direct and indirect economic, social, and health-related effects (notably in terms of mental health) for young people seeking work and for their families. Unemployed youths are often seen as members of "lost generations," and their future earnings may remain below average well into their adult years. Although these rates could be problematic when taking into account developed countries that offer welfare opportunities for somebody within this age range to pursue education instead of joining the labor market, the fact that only those who are actively looking for employment are considered makes youth unemployment rates more telling. The UN has expressed great concern about the continuous rise in youth unemployment, as well as about young individuals residing in developing countries who, although employed, still face moderate or extreme poverty. Furthermore, research has shown that there is a significant gender disparity in youth unemployment, with more women being jobless. 

Our youth unemployment figures are taken from the CIA's World Factbook, which "provides information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities."

Youth unemployment rate by category:

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