On 18th August 2020, The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released the joint report titled “Tackling the Covid-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific”, which stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 41 lakh youths have lost their jobs in India.
About the report:
- The report assesses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the youth employment in Asia and Pacific regions and recommends critical policy responses.
- The report is based on the regional assessment of the “Global Survey on Youth and COVID-19” and the available unemployment data in different countries.
Overview of the Report:
Effects of Pandemic:
i.Due to lockdown and travel restrictions has forced many businesses to close or cut down the operations which affected the workers.
ii.Around 220 million young workers (15 to 24 years) in the region are vulnerable due to their short tenure on the job.
iii.The report estimates that around 1 crore to 1.5 crore youth jobs may be lost in the 13 countries in the Asia and pacific region in 2020.
Challenges of Youth Employment:
i.The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets that has had disproportionate impacts on youth employment.
ii.Due to lack of experience, young people face higher rates of unemployment than adults.
iii.The young people work in unsecure, low wage employment with limited legal rights, social protection, and representation.
iv.The COVID-19 situation has exacerbated the existing conditions of the youth with negative consequences for intergenerational poverty and inequality.
Effects of COVID-19 on Young People:
- Disruption in Job: Reduced working hours and earnings and loss of jobs for paid workers and self-employed.
- Disruptions in their education and training
- Difficulties in transitioning from school to work, and moving between jobs in a recession.
Sectors with Major Job Loss:
i.Agriculture, Retail Trade, Hotels and restaurants, Inland transport, Other services, Construction, Textiles and textile products were the 7 key sectors which experienced job loss in the region.
ii.Almost 50% (more than 100 million) of the young workers of the region were employed in the 4 sectors (wholesale and retail trade and repair, manufacturing, rental and business services, and accommodation and food services) which were affected the most due to the pandemic.
iii.In India among the 7 key sectors, Construction and Agriculture faced major job losses.
iv.Young women are over-represented in three of the four most-affected sectors, particularly in accommodation and food services
Rate of Youth Unemployment:
i.The rate of unemployment in the region was high even before the pandemic.
ii.In 2019, the regional youth unemployment rate was 13.8%, compared to 3% for adults, and 24% youths (160 million youths) were not in employment, education or training(NEET).
iii.4 in 5 young workers were engaged in informal employment and 1 in 4 young workers were living in extreme or moderate poverty.
iv.The rate of youth unemployment in the region has risen significantly in the first quarter of 2020 from the last quarter of 2019.
v.With the available data, the rate of unemployment increased in the economies of Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.
Effects in India:
i.The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the youths more than the adults (25 years and above) in the immediate crisis and these youths will bear the higher and longer term economic and social costs.
ii.The pandemic has interrupted two-thirds of firm-level apprenticeships and three quarters of internships.
The governments in the region should call for urgent and large scale measures to generate jobs for youths and maintain the education and training for the youths to minimise the effects on more than 660 million youths of this region.
Recent Related News:
i.COVID-19 risked 400 mn Indian workers to face poverty: ILO Monitor 2nd edition Report.
ii.Global unemployment to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020: UN’s ILO report.
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters– Metro Manila, Philippines
Motto– Committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia & the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
About International Labor Organization (ILO):
Director-General– Guy Ryder
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland