A new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) states that nearly half of youth workers aged 15-29 in Asia and the Pacific are self-employed, and two out of three youth are in paid work without a written contract. The study, titled Labour market transitions of young women and men in Asia and the Pacific, notes that informality and vulnerable employment characterize the work of the majority of working youth in the region. While unemployment is a concern for these young workers, according to the report, the low-quality of work available is a bigger concern, where few have a written employment contract or benefits such as paid sick leave and social security coverage.

“The lack of prospects for secure employment, along with increased education, access to modern technology and exposure to the perceived advantages of developed economies, create the risk of frustration among youth. This, in turn, can culminate in political unrest and external migration,” says Sara Elder, ILO youth employment specialist and author of the report.Proposals include a range of government actions to help more young people find quality jobs, as well as designing macroeconomic policies to promote job growth, ensuring educational access for all, preventing young people leaving education early, and strengthening support for informal enterprises.

To access the full text of the report, visit the ILO website.

Key findings of the ILO Report include that 5 out of 10 young workers in the region are self employed, the average young unemployment rate was 14.2 per cent, and the qualifications to work mismatch is high among young workers in all five countries.

Key findings of the ILO Report