COVID-19’s impact on youth employment in Mexico, Colombia and Peru is strong

20, January

  The youth unemployment rate is three times that of adults, the informality rate is 1.5 times higher and 21 ...

 

The youth unemployment rate is three times that of adults, the informality rate is 1.5 times higher and 21 percent of this population does not study or work.
María Fernanda Gómez, consultant from the IDB’s labor markets division explained that at the beginning of the pandemic, two out of every five young people globally experienced a reduction in their income and more than 20 percent saw their access to housing impacted.
These youth-adult employment entry gaps are common even in high-income countries. However, this phenomenon is particularly pronounced in the region and has been aggravated by the health crisis, he added.
The pandemic has resulted in the loss of more than 17 million jobs in the region and young people have been the most affected.
While in Mexico 12 percent of young people lost their jobs, in the Peruvian capital, Lima, this proportion reached 70 percent, and in Colombia the youth unemployment rate went from 16 to almost 30 percent.
Gómez explained that the inadequate access of young people to the labor market due to the Covid-19 crisis has severe short-term consequences, because it reduces income for basic services, but also carries a scar effect.
According to previous studies, the conditions at the beginning of professional life can result in effects on the labor trajectory in terms of access, quality and income for more than a decade.
These periods of youth unemployment can generate reductions of more than 20 percent in income with an effect that can persist for up to 15 years for those who graduate and begin their working life during a recession.
The IDB consultant stressed that among the barriers that weaken young people’s access to work are regulatory factors, as well as disarticulation between aspirations and the reality of the labor market, among other aspects.