Young generations harder to find jobs than adults under COVID effects, says ILO
A job fair for college graduates is held in Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China, August 5, 2022. /CFP

A job fair for college graduates is held in Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China, August 5, 2022. /CFP

Youth employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic more than that of adults, said International Labour Organization (ILO) on Thursday.

COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the labor market challenges faced by young people, which were already severe before the pandemic, according to the Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022 published by ILO.

Even between 2019 and 2020, those aged between 15 and 24 years experienced a much higher percentage loss in employment than adults, which is defined as those aged 25 years and above, according to the report.

"Less than half of the global youth employment deficit in 2020 is projected to be recovered by 2022," read the report. 

ILO said the pandemic "not only affected the employment prospects of young people but also disrupted the quality and quantity of education and training."

Disrupted education can cause significant learning losses, explained ILO, adding creating both intergenerational and intragenerational inequalities.

It said the worldwide school closures have affected more than 1.6 billion learners.

"Young women and girls were often the first to be pulled out of education and the last to return," said ILO, "which is likely to aggravate gender inequalities in the labor market." Analysts say without good education and skills, it's more difficult for young people to find jobs in the market, and this will push more people into poverty.

China, which has the world's largest population of 1.4 billion people, has seen a record 10.76 million graduates stream out of colleges this year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Experts say it's a huge task for the Chinese governments at all levels trying to accommodate those graduates in the labour market.

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Unboxing China: How does China help its 10.76 million college graduates get jobs?

Due to the pandemic, the country's unemployment rate among those aged 16-24 rose to 19.3 percent in May, per NBS.

To help the graduates and maintain employment stability, nine pro-employment measures have been outlined and will last until December, according to a circular released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on June 24.

As college graduates are regarded as the priority of China's employment policy, the ministry also initiated a nationwide online recruiting platform that will last till August 25 to promote over 10 million openings. 

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