Youth unemployment over 10% in most Asia-Pacific nations: ILO

Economic slowdown has taken a heavy toll on jobs in most Asian nations -- including India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines and Indonesia -- with youth unemployment rising over 10% during 2013, International Labour Organisation said in a report.

While employment growth has remained below 3% in most parts in Asia Pacific region, unemployment rate was about 5%.

In India, the employment grew by an annual average 1.5% to 472.9 million in 2011-12 from 459 million in 2009-10, according to the latest NSSO survey. Latest labour ministry data show unemployment rate was at 4.7% in 2012-13. The unemployment level may have worsened as the GDP growth slipped to 4.6% in April-September 2013-14 from 9.3% in 2010-11.

What's worrisome is the rising youth unemployment among fresh graduates continue to face difficulty in getting decent jobs. In eight out of fourteen economies excluding India, youth unemployment rate was around 10% or higher.

"In India, youth unemployment is around one in ten overall, but nearly one in four among better educated young women from wealthier, middle class families," ILO said.

Apart from the dearth of quality jobs, ILO said a majority of the region's workers remain informally employed.

"In India, for example, the proportion of informal workers is still around eight in ten, and the vast majority of new jobs created in the organized sector in recent years were informal in that they did not provide access to benefits or social security," it added.

Job quality is particularly low in the region's agriculture sector, where workers typically lack the skills and opportunities to access better quality jobs that are more productive and secure.

"With limited stability, earnings and protection, precarious and informal jobs leave workers and their families highly vulnerable especially in situations of economic, social or environmental crisis," ILO cautioned.