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And under-24s who are working are disproportionately engaged in informal or temporary employment.
(It is no coincidence that South Africa has some of the strictest rules on hiring and firing and one of the worst youth-unemployment problems in sub-Saharan Africa.) A third factor is the growing mismatch between the skills that youngsters have and the vacancies that employers want to fill.
Germany, which has a relatively low level of youth unemployment, places a lot of emphasis on high-quality vocational courses, apprenticeships and links with industry. The effects of youth unemployment can persist for years.
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With the economic downturn, the worldwide youth unemployment is expected to reach 15% in 2009 (International Labor Organization, 2008).
In certain parts of the world, i.e., Sub-Saharan Africa, youth unemployment rates can be as high as 60%.
In the developing world, meanwhile, a second contributory factor is that many countries with fast-growing populations also have inefficient labour markets.
Almost half the world’s young people live in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the regions with the highest shares of youngsters out of work or working informally.
The International Labour Organisation estimates there are 75m 15-to-24-year-olds looking for work across the globe.
But this figure excludes a large number of youngsters who do not participate in the labour market at all.