A Global Database on Youth Labour Market Indicators

Welcome to youthSTATS , a new global database on youth labour market indicators.

The youthSTATS database is a response to the need for reliable statistics to inform policies on youth employment challenges worldwide. It contains a comprehensive set of indicators on the labour market situation of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years in the developing world.

There are hundreds of untapped datasets out there. Almost every country in the world has run at least one labour force survey over the last ten years; if not a labour force survey, a household income and expenditure survey or a child labour survey or a living standards survey. All contain relevant information on labour markets and all cover at least some portion of the 15-29 age group. Why then can we not find more statistics on youth beyond the usual youth unemployment rate or labour force participation rate? The answer is simple: there has until now been no organized effort to compute the indicators. Through youthSTATS this situation has now changed.

ILO and UCW  have pooled resources together to tabulate a large array of youth labour market indicators from an inventory of over 150 micro data files of household-based surveys run in over 70 countries. This way, we are able to bring to light unseen statistics on youth labour markets that are produced according to international standards. Users are able to browse and export a selection of 50 indicators grouped according to 12 themes to develop in-depth situational analyses of young people’s labour market situation. Wherever possible, indicators are available by sex, age group (15-17, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29 and aggregate age bands, 15-24 and 15-29), urban/rural residence and household income quintile.

The database is a WORK IN PROGRESS. This means we are continually adding more countries and more years and even more indicators from our inventory of micro datasets. We will be expanding the platform to include entirely new datasets, including the ILO’s school-to-work transition surveys that will be underway in 28 countries over the next year. Likewise, we will link the platform to the existing UCW Country Statistics  on the related issue of child labour as well as to youth labour market indicators from existing databases such as the ILO’s Key Indicators of the Labour Market. In other words, we are committed to improving and expanding youthSTATS as a reliable source of information on the labour market situation of young people.

Hazardous youth employment

According to the International Labour Organisation Conventions Nos. 138 (Minimum Age) and 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour), adolescents who have reached the minimum working age but not yet the age of 18 years should not be engaged in any of the “worst form” of child labour, including hazardous work. Following from this, an adolescent aged below 18 years working on a prohibited hazardous job should be counted among the cases of child labour to be eliminated.
The statistics included in this database, however, do not allow for a distinction between undesirable child labour and acceptable forms of youth employment among 15-17 year-olds. The labour market statistics for this segment of the youth population should be interpreted with this caveat in mind.