Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO estimate)
Definition: Youth unemployment refers to the share of the labor force ages 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment.
Description: The map below shows how Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO estimate) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Spain, with a value of 57.90. The country with the lowest value in the world is Rwanda, with a value of 0.70.
Source: International Labour Organization, Key Indicators of the Labour Market database.
Development Relevance: Youth unemployment is an important policy issue for many economies. Young men and women today face increasing uncertainty in their hopes of undergoing a satisfactory transition in the labour market, and this uncertainty and disillusionment can, in turn, have damaging effects on individuals, communities, economies and society at large. Unemployed or underemployed youth are less able to contribute effectively to national development and have fewer opportunities to exercise their rights as citizens. They have less to spend as consumers, less to invest as savers and often have no "voice" to bring about change in their lives and communities. Widespread youth unemployment and underemployment also prevents companies and countries from innovating and developing competitive advantages based on human capital investment, thus undermining future prospects. Unemployment and total employment are the broadest indicators of economic activity as reflected by the labor market. The International Labour Organization(ILO) defines the unemployed as members of the economically active population who are without work but available for and seeking work, including people who have lost their jobs or who have voluntarily left work. Some unemployment is unavoidable. At any time some workers are temporarily unemployed - between jobs as employers look for the right workers and workers search for better jobs. Such unemployment, often called frictional unemployment, results from the normal operation of labor markets. In many developing countries women work on farms or in other family enterprises without pay and others work in or near their homes, mixing work and family activities during the day. Labor force statistics by gender is important to monitor gender disparities in unemployment patterns. In many developed economies, women have been increasingly acquiring higher education that has led to better-compensated, longer-term careers rather than lower-skilled, shorter-term jobs. However, access to good- paying occupations for women remains unequal in many occupations and countries around the world.
Limitations and Exceptions: There may be persons not currently in the labour market who want to work but do not actively "seek" work because they view job opportunities as limited, or because they have restricted labour mobility, or face discrimination, or structural, social or cultural barriers. The exclusion of people who want to work but are not seeking work (often called the "hidden unemployed" or "discouraged workers") is a criterion that will affect the count of both women and men although women may have a higher probability of being excluded from the count of unemployed because they suffer more from social barriers overall that impede them from meeting this criterion. There are situations where the conventional means of seeking work are of limited relevance - for example, in developing economies where the informal economy is rampant and where the labour force is largely self-employed. In such cases, the standard definition of unemployment would greatly undercount the untapped human resources of a country and would give a picture of the labour market that was more positive than reality would warrant.
Statistical Concept and Methodology: The standard definition of unemployed persons is those individuals without work, seeking work in a recent past period, and currently available for work. Persons who did not look for work but have an arrangements for a future job are counted as unemployed. It is the labour force or the economically active portion of the population that serves as the base for this indicator, not the total population. The unemployment rates presented here are the ILO estimates from the ILO's Key Indicators of the Labour Market database. The ILO estimates are harmonized to account for inconsistencies resulting from data source, definition, reference period, coverage, age group, and collection methodologies. The adjusted rates are based on household labour force sample surveys and includes both nationally reported and imputed data. Caution should be used when comparing the ILO estimates against other national estimates such as employment data.
Aggregation method: Weighted average
General Comments: The unemployment rates presented here are the ILO estimates from the ILO's Key Indicators of the Labour Market database. These harmonized estimates use strict data selection criteria and enhanced methods to ensure comparability across countries and over time. (Note: Before April 2014, this code was used for national estimates, which are also now available in the WDI database under a different code.)