Youth unemployment to surge in Southeast Asia as economies get hit hard by pandemic – ADB

Table from the new report “Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific” by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation

The number of jobless young people across Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region is being substantially affected by the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation found in a new co-released report called Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific.

The report shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets in the entire region and has a disproportionate impact on the employment of young people. Overall, an estimated 220 million young workers in Asia aged 15 to 24 are vulnerable to this disruption and are in danger to lose their jobs, the research says.


Core problems to find alternative work amid the pandemic are that younger people have a relative lack of experience and are mostly not sufficiently educated to switch to other jobs that are sought after in the crisis, such as healthcare or information technology. Young people are also more likely than adults to work in less secure, lower-wage jobs usually with limited legal rights, social protection and representation.

The report says that job losses among youth will continue throughout 2020 and could result in youth unemployment rates surging in many countries. Between ten and 15 million youth jobs in terms of full-time equivalents may be lost across 13 Asia-Pacific countries in 2020. These estimates are based on the expected fall in output and consequent decrease in labour demand for the year relative to a non-Covid-19 scenario.

Thailand, Indonesia among the worst hit countries

The estimates include Thailand, where youth unemployment is estimated to quadruple from 4.2 in 2019 per cent to 16.4 per cent in 2020, and this only in the optimistic case that the pandemic gets contained at some point in the nearer future. In the bleaker outlook of a prolonged crisis, Thailand’s youth unemployment could increase more than fivefold to a whopping 22.1 per cent.

There are similarly pessimistic scenarios for Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam (see table above).

In terms of economic sectors, nearly half of young workers in the region – more than 100 million – at the onset of the crisis were employed in the four sectors destined to be hardest hit by the recession, namely wholesale and retail, manufacturing and repair, rental and business services, as well as accommodation and food services. Young women are overrepresented in three of the four highly impacted sectors, particularly accommodation and food services, according to the study.

Adding to that, four in five young workers in the region were engaged in informal employment for which there is no social security whatsoever – a higher share than among adults –, and one in four young workers was living in conditions of extreme or moderate poverty, a situation that is likely to worsen under current circumstances.



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Table from the new report "Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific" by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation The number of jobless young people across Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region is being substantially affected by the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation found in a new co-released report called Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific. The report shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets in the entire region and has a...

Table from the new report “Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific” by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation

The number of jobless young people across Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region is being substantially affected by the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organisation found in a new co-released report called Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific.

The report shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets in the entire region and has a disproportionate impact on the employment of young people. Overall, an estimated 220 million young workers in Asia aged 15 to 24 are vulnerable to this disruption and are in danger to lose their jobs, the research says.


Core problems to find alternative work amid the pandemic are that younger people have a relative lack of experience and are mostly not sufficiently educated to switch to other jobs that are sought after in the crisis, such as healthcare or information technology. Young people are also more likely than adults to work in less secure, lower-wage jobs usually with limited legal rights, social protection and representation.

The report says that job losses among youth will continue throughout 2020 and could result in youth unemployment rates surging in many countries. Between ten and 15 million youth jobs in terms of full-time equivalents may be lost across 13 Asia-Pacific countries in 2020. These estimates are based on the expected fall in output and consequent decrease in labour demand for the year relative to a non-Covid-19 scenario.

Thailand, Indonesia among the worst hit countries

The estimates include Thailand, where youth unemployment is estimated to quadruple from 4.2 in 2019 per cent to 16.4 per cent in 2020, and this only in the optimistic case that the pandemic gets contained at some point in the nearer future. In the bleaker outlook of a prolonged crisis, Thailand’s youth unemployment could increase more than fivefold to a whopping 22.1 per cent.

There are similarly pessimistic scenarios for Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam (see table above).

In terms of economic sectors, nearly half of young workers in the region – more than 100 million – at the onset of the crisis were employed in the four sectors destined to be hardest hit by the recession, namely wholesale and retail, manufacturing and repair, rental and business services, as well as accommodation and food services. Young women are overrepresented in three of the four highly impacted sectors, particularly accommodation and food services, according to the study.

Adding to that, four in five young workers in the region were engaged in informal employment for which there is no social security whatsoever – a higher share than among adults –, and one in four young workers was living in conditions of extreme or moderate poverty, a situation that is likely to worsen under current circumstances.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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