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ILO Says Global Youth Unemployment May Stay Elevated for Years

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May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Global youth unemployment has climbed to almost 75 million and is projected to stay that high for years to come, the International Labor Organization said.

The jobless rate among people aged 15 to 24 is forecast to rise from 12.6 percent in 2011 to 12.7 percent this year and remain there through 2016, the Geneva-based ILO said in a report published today.

“Since 2007, the global youth unemployment rate has started rising again, and the increase between 2008 and the height of the economic crisis in 2009 effectively wiped out much of the gains made in previous years,” the ILO said in the report. “Nearly 75 million youth are unemployed around the world, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007.”

In the European Union, where a debt crisis followed the financial crisis, the youth unemployment rate rose to 18 percent last year from 12.5 percent in 2007, the ILO report shows. Youth unemployment in Spain soared to 46.4 percent in 2011 from 18.2 percent in 2007, according to Eurostat figures.

In North Africa, youth unemployment rose to 27.9 percent in 2011 from 23.1 percent in 2010 as a result of the Arab Spring, the ILO said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph de Weck in Frankfurt at jdeweck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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