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UN says global youth unemployment rate to reach 12.8 per cent by 2018

GENEVA – Youth unemployment is likely to rise globally to 12.8 per cent by 2018, wiping out gains made in the recent economic recovery, the U.N.’s labour office said Wednesday.

As of last year, some 12.4 per cent of people aged 15 to 24 worldwide were unemployed, up from 12.3 per cent in 2011, according to a report published by the International Labor Organization, which is based in Geneva.

In six of 10 developing countries surveyed, more than 60 per cent of the young people were either unemployed or trapped in low-paying jobs, the report found.

“The waste of economic potential in developing countries is staggering,” said Sara Elder, a co-author of the report, who concluded that for many of them “a job does not necessarily equal a livelihood.”

It said that the youth unemployment rate is expected to climb to 12.6 in 2013 — with an estimated 73.4 million young people out of work — as more of them leave the work force or give up looking for a job.

The highest regional rates in 2012 were 28.3 per cent in the Middle East and 23.7 per cent in North Africa. The lowest rates were South Asia, with 9.3 per cent, and East Asia at 9.5 per cent.

Among wealthier nations, including the European Union, the rate was at a 10-year high of 18.1 per cent in 2012 — and is expected to remain above 17 per cent at least until 2016.

Six countries — Austria, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland — had rates below 10 per cent last year.