* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Youth unemployment, ages 15-24, 2023:

The average for 2023 based on 12 countries was 16.49 percent. The highest value was in Uruguay: 26.09 percent and the lowest value was in Bolivia: 7.18 percent. The indicator is available from 1991 to 2023. Below is a chart for all countries where data are available.

Measure: percent; Source: The World Bank
Select indicator
* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Countries Youth unemployment, 2023 Global rank Available data
Uruguay 26.09 1 -
Suriname 26.03 2 -
Guyana 21.94 3 -
Chile 21.65 4 -
Colombia 19.21 5 -
Argentina 18.82 6 -
Brazil 17.74 7 -
Paraguay 12.14 8 -
Venezuela 11.66 9 -
Peru 7.86 10 -
Ecuador 7.54 11 -
Bolivia 7.18 12 -

Definition: Youth unemployment refers to the share of the labor force ages 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment.
What explains the differences in youth unemployment across countries

Youth unemployment is typically high in countries with overall high unemployment where the economy is struggling to create jobs. These are the countries at the top the chart. Further below, at around 20-30 percent unemployment one sees several advanced European countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. These countries do not have very dynamic labor markets with a big churn of new positions. Also, older workers are more entrenched in their positions and the firing and hiring of labor is more complicated by regulations and customs.

Notice also that countries with significant demographic issues such as South Korea and Japan have very low youth unemployment. There just aren't many young people, relatively speaking. In some countries at the bottom of the chart such as Chad, Liberia, and Niger there are many young people but they may be out of the labor force. Recall that to be considered unemployed one has to be without a job but actively looking for one.

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