Global Youth Unemployment: An Agenda for Substantive Intervention

JA Worldwide report highlights innovative solutions required to reverse soaring levels of unemployment among youth populations around the worldBoston, MA, USA ? Across the globe, today?s youth populations are experiencing one of the highest levels of unemployment in history. Nearly half of the world?s 1.2 billion young people between the ages 15-24 are currently unemployed or underemployed. According to a new report published by JA Worldwide <> , funded by the Citi Foundation <> , substantive interventions over an extended period of time can effectively address climbing levels of youth unemployment.[JA WW logo] <> The report, titled "Generation Jobless: The Challenge of Global Youth Unemployment," offers an in-depth look at the causes and effects of global youth unemployment, highlights regional variations and perspectives, and offers promising solutions and tailored approaches to addressing the challenge.The consequences of sustained youth unemployment impact economies and serve as forces behind the social unrest. The report cites economic costs for several regions including: * Middle East and North Africa: unemployed youth cost $40-50 billion annually * European Union: ?153 billion (~$192 billion) in welfare and lost production annually * United States: $20 billion in lost earnings for young people over the next 10 years"This problem did not arise overnight," says Sean Rush, President and CEO of JA Worldwide. "It has been slowly but systematically growing over the past decade, with obvious economic and social impacts. Among the causes are a great skills mismatch between employers and young job seekers and a lack of quality entrepreneurship education, as well as significant labor protections serving as barriers to productive work."JA programs are being deployed across 123 countries to address different challenges or variations of the same challenges, with a focus on unemployment. With its partners, JA Worldwide delivers experiential education in work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to more than 10 million youth annually through 400,000 volunteers. The report spotlights the customized programming and alumni experiences from each region, such as a group of university students in Egypt who used $1,000 to launch a recycling business that is currently valued at $400,000.The interventions highlighted by the report call for collaboration between governments, employers, educational institutions and civil society organizations that must continue over an extended period of time to affect lasting change. In addition, the solutions to this global challenge must be customized and targeted locally. They include: * Boosting job creation and labor demand * Better preparing youth for the job market * Illuminating pathways to productive work * Improving current and long-term financial well-being * Fostering entrepreneurshipUrging a call to action, Rush states, "This report aims to ignite a conversation about the role we all need to play in global youth economic development. We welcome the opportunity to partner with organizations and institutions around the world to tackle this critical global challenge."

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