6.1 mn Indian youth may lose jobs in 2020 due to Covid-19: ADB-ILO Report2 min read . Updated: 18 Aug 2020, 10:58 PM IST
The report said the youth unemployment rate in India may touch 32.5%, third highest rate predicted among the 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region
New Delhi: Around 6.1 million youth in the 15-24 age group are likely to lose their jobs in 2020 if India takes six months ending September to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and this will be around 40% of the total job losses the Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a joint report Tuesday.
India will be followed by Pakistan where around 2.3 million youth may lose their jobs and Indonesia may see 1.9 million youth out of work in the same period, said the report titled “Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific".
“In the 6-month scenario, job losses for youth may equal 6.1 million in India, followed by Pakistan with 2.3 million. Indonesia may see lower job losses (1.9 million) than Pakistan, despite the former having a larger youth workforce. This is likely the result of higher concentrations of youth in badly hit sectors and lower labour productivity in Pakistan," said the report adding that 14.8 million youth will suffer job cuts in 13 countries in the region.
Naturally, the largest losses are expected in countries with the largest workforce, but the start date of serious containment measures and the severity of restrictions also have an important impact, the report said. It said India not only has a larger population and workforce, but it also imposed stringent containment measures and did so early, in the latter half of March.
The report said the youth unemployment rate in India may touch 32.5%, third highest unemployment rate predicted among the 13 countries in the region. Only Sri Lanka (37.8%) and Fiji (36.85) will have a higher youth unemployment rate, the report said.
Employment opportunities for the youth in the Asia-Pacific region have been severely challenged due to the pandemic and youngsters in the 15-24 age group will be hit harder than adults who are aged 25 and above.
Youth will be hit harder than adults in the immediate crisis and also will bear higher longer-term economic and social costs. Before the pandemic, young people were already facing challenges in the labour market. These are worsened by the COVID-19 crisis, and its multiple effects threaten to create a “lockdown generation" that will feel the weight of this crisis for a long time.
“To address the youth employment crisis, governments in the region urgently need to adopt large-scale and targeted responses, centered on (1) comprehensive labour market policies including wage subsidies and public employment programmes, and (2) minimizing the impacts on young students of disrupting their education and training. Effective covid-19 mitigation measures will ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable youth are reached and that young people are meaningfully engaged in policy and social dialogue," the report advised.
“Prioritizing youth employment and maximizing youth productivity in the covid-19 recovery process will improve Asia and the Pacific’s future prospects for inclusive and sustainable growth, demographic transition and social stability. When young people feel empowered to earn a living through fulfilling work, and their energy, creativity and talents are nurtured, they can take up their roles as active, engaged citizens. This contributes to a positive cycle of economic growth, investment and social justice," it added.