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Suva ( ILO News) – Young people in the Asia and Pacific region will be hit hardest and likely bear the long-term economic costs of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB)-International Labour Organization (ILO) report presented today. The joint Tackling the COVID-19 Youth Employment Crisis in Asia and the Pacific report says COVID-19 has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets which has had a disproportionate impact on youth unemployment. Job loss among youth will continue throughout 2020 and could result in youth unemployment rates doubling.

“Young women in particular have been severely impacted by the spike in youth unemployment in the region, largely because they are overrepresented in the sectors most impacted by the economic effects COVID-19,” said Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional
Office in Fiji, Masayuki Tachiiri said during the Pacific launch.

The joint report says about 100 million – nearly half of all the young people working in the region at the onset of the crisis were employed in the four hardest hit sectors: wholesale and retail trade and repair, manufacturing, rental and business services, and accommodation and food services.

“The pandemic is inflicting a triple shock on young people: destroying their employment, disrupting education and training, and placing major obstacles in the way of those seeking to enter the labour market. There is an urgent need to help young people develop resilience to face these challenges, as well develop capacity of institutions to implement effective measures,” said Director, ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, Matin Karimli.

The joint report recommends targeted responses to address the youth employment crisis, such as comprehensive labour market policies including wage subsidies and public employment programs; job information and employment services expansion for young jobseekers; apprenticeship programs and demand-driven skills development; increased funds for upskilling and reskilling; and digital inclusion investment for equitable access to education, training, and entrepreneurship. These interventions should reach the most vulnerable youth including the poorest and marginalized young women and meaningfully engage young people in policy development and social dialogue.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Blumel
ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries

Source of original article: International Labour Organization (www.ilo.org).
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