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1 million young workers at risk of losing jobs – ADB
In a joint report with the International Labour Organization (ILO) titled “Tackling the COVID-19 Youth Employment Crisis in Asia and the Pacific,” the Manila-based multilateral bank said the employment prospects for young workers in the region would be tougher than for their more experienced peers during the pandemic.
Cesar Ramirez, file

1 million young workers at risk of losing jobs – ADB

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As many as one million young workers in the Philippines, or those aged 15 to 24, are in danger of losing their jobs amid the pandemic, according a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In a joint report with the International Labour Organization (ILO) titled “Tackling the COVID-19 Youth Employment Crisis in Asia and the Pacific,” the Manila-based multilateral bank said the employment prospects for young workers in the region would be tougher than for their more experienced peers during the pandemic.

This is largely due to their short tenure in their jobs and the fact that the hardest-hit sectors of the economy have young workforces, the report said.

The situation is aggravated by the suspension of education and training, which would affect their transition within labor markets, the ADB said.

Among the hardest-hit economic sectors in the region with large populations of young workers are wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, real estate and business activities, and accommodation and food services.

It is estimated that some 660 million young people in the region would be challenged by the difficult job market amid the pandemic and are at risk of bearing longer-term economic and social costs.

In the Philippines alone, the ADB report said it is estimated that 687,000 young workers engaged full time are in danger of losing their jobs this year, assuming the spread of the coronavirus is contained within three months.

This can rise to as many as 1.019 million young workers doing full time work, assuming it takes six months to control the contagion.

This effectively raises the youth unemployment rate in the Philippines this year to 15.1 percent under the short term containment scenario and 19.5 percent under a long containment scenario.

The simulation also uses the assumption that the economy will contract by 3.8 percent this year.

“For most countries, a six-month period would reach into September because containment started near the beginning of April. This is likely the case for the Philippines,” said the report.

Young workers in Asia Pacific are expected to lose jobs at a faster rate than adults because of the last-in-first-out process, in which young workers hired more recently and with less job protection are likely to be laid off first.

To prevent the scarring effects on young workers as seen in the previous crises, ADB and ILO urge governments to engage with young people in policy and social dialogue and to adopt urgent, large-scale and targeted interventions.

To cope, many young workers have been transitioning to informal jobs with less security.

These need to focus on labor market policies such as youth-targeted wage subsidies and public employment programs, and measures to mitigate disruptions to education and training.

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