New Democrat (Monrovia)

Liberia: Unemployment Hunts Youths

Joblessness has become a common problem for youths in Africa with the hope of finding solution being delayed due to long lack of support, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has lamented.

"Youth across the continent and young graduates face the stark realization of being unable to find jobs, exposing their vulnerabilities to crime and violence," President Sirlead said when she addressed the 16th Mid-Term Review Meeting of the International Development Association.

Making the opening remarks last Tuesday, the president said "Our hopes to achieve the potential for regional integration have been long delayed due to long-standing trading relationships and lack of effective international support."

She added: "Perhaps the more relevant aspects of your Review to our unfulfilled expectations are the response to crisis and promotion of regional integration. Peace and stability, a sine qua non for sustained growth and development, still elude too many of our countries."

She applauded the recent progress supported by multilateral programs that have led to the West African Gas Pipeline and the West African Power Pool.

Studies have shown that the cause of rising crime in third world countries such as Liberia is the lack of jobs.

Reports say global youth unemployment will continue rising over the next five years,according to a new report from the International Labor Organization.

The effects of the euro crisis will spill over from developed to emerging economies, the ILO says, pushing youth unemployment to almost 13% by 2017.

The ILO warned that many young people have given up hope of ever finding a job.

The report calls for government-backed jobs and training, that some countries where youth unemployment is relatively low, such as Austria, Denmark and Sweden, have successfully introduced.

The report says that although youth unemployment in Europe is forecast to fall slightly in the next few years, this is not likely to be because more jobs are unavailable.

"Much of this decline in the jobless rate is not due to improvements in the labor market, but rather to large numbers of young people dropping out of the labor force altogether due to discouragement," the ILO says.

"These discouraged youth are not counted among the unemployed," it adds.

The Eurozone crisis will impact on emerging economies in East Asia and Latin America as the demand in Europe slows and exports decreases.

Youth unemployment is rising in these emerging economies.

The Middle East and North Africa have the highest rates of youth unemployment and will continue to do so, the report says.

Even though the number is expected to fall slightly in North Africa, the report estimates it will still stand at 26.7% in 2017, with the Middle East projected to have 28.4% of its young people out of work by that date.

"Schemes using employment guarantees and an emphasis on training could help get jobseekers off the street and into useful activities, providing a safeguard against further economic stress," lead author of the report, Ekkehard Ernst, said.

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