The True Cost of Unemployment

Unemployment Jul 18, 2020

We can discuss many things occurring across the globe — terrorism, war, natural disasters, and other such current affairs. However, there is a more silent problem which is plaguing people of our generation — the problem of unemployment.

We are aware that a majority of the world population is increasingly becoming younger; and, these youth will enter into the workforce to fuel economic growth, and innovate for modern society.

However, there seems to be a “disconnect” between employment and population growth in the world. And it is leading to many negative, and unproductive practices — which can be considered as the ‘cost’ of modern-day unemployment. And, when more than half the world population is considered to be youth, this is an unsettling realization.

A survey has revealed that 89.7% of people under 30 years of age live in developing, and underdeveloped countries of the world. And in 2012, nearly 75 million youth were unemployed around the world, and this rate has remained the same — in proportion to the population even in 2017.

It is only logical to conclude that youth unemployment is also leading to increased inequality — an observed 4% to 8% point difference in the Gini coefficient as measured in different geographical regions. This level of inequality and skill gap in the industry of a nation leads to poor economic growth, an increase in suicides, and a distressed culture.

In combination with demographics, the effect of unemployment is influencing when people choose to marry, how many children they will have, where they chose to live, how long they will live, and this list goes on. In a connected world as ours, there is a global ripple felt when one country underperforms — the outcome is that trade, growth, and quality of life for people in a different country are affected as well.

It is not clear if the present skill gap in industry and unemployment of youth is because of poor education, or economic background, or even which part of the world they belong to. While each of these factors plays a role in the overall development of individuals, we can see that once a minimum level of education is reached — people are still unable to obtain employment of their choice since there is no mechanism to ensure an intermediate period where they can gain experience in the field of work they have chosen.

Vocational education programs, compulsory minimum education, and other such programs partly address the problem; however, while education requirements are being met, is it certain that the requirements are “suitably” conditioned to the “demand” of respective industries?

At best, my answer to the question as the author is that the above educational programs reflect good policy-thinking on the part of governments, which in this context can be defined as “people-friendly”. However, “demand” is governed by “profit-seeking” corporate entities.

It is therefore highly beneficial to include all industries in discussion while creating an educational curriculum for higher education, and advanced studies respectively. However, this is not the case right now.

In conclusion, it can be said, that while many initiatives are being taken to address skill-gaps in industry, and consequently solve the problem of youth unemployment; the desired result has not been achieved for poor foresight and outrageous ignorance. And the cost of this is apparent in poor economic growth, a rising population of youth being misled into wrongdoing, and suchlike activities.

It is apparent from the discussion above that the cost of unemployment is very high, and the problem of unemployment is very complex. And it must be tackled and resolved quickly to bring prosperously, and fulfilling lives for people of all backgrounds.
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