World YMCA Youth Empowerment Vision
Youth Employment

Roughly half the world’s population lives on less than $2/day. The global unemployment rate averages 5.7% according to the latest United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Reports. A report titled ‘World Social and Employment Outlook – Trends 2018’ prepared by the International Labor Organization (ILO), finds that young people under the age of 25 are much less likely to find work than adults. The global youth unemployment rate stands at 13%, a rising trend. Many others are underemployed and remain in moderate to extreme poverty. 2017 United Nations statistics show that less than 50% of women participate in the formal labor force at salary levels significantly lower than men. The lack of decent employment presents local, national and global economic and security risks as young people turn to alternative activities when they do not have access to secure jobs. “The alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty show how difficult it will be to reach the global goal to end poverty by 2030 unless we redouble our efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work. This research also highlights wide disparities between young women and men in the labor market that need to be addressed by ILO member States and the social partners urgently,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy.

YMCA is working with others to create a more just world where every young person can transform their lives and those of others by earning a good living. YMCA education, workforce development, mentoring, entrepreneurship and employment placement efforts impact youth on six continents and advance global progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number One for No Poverty, Number Four for Quality Education and Number Eight for Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Current Capacity & Impact
YMCA helps over 500,000 young people each year find a pathway to meaningful employment through primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational education, career planning, mentoring, financial education, workforce development, job placement, social entrepreneurship and microenterprise development, and advocacy initiatives on six continents. Youth develop life skills and vocational skills for contemporary job markets. YMCAs around the world also employ over 250,000 young people under the age of 30 each year in part-time, seasonal and full-time jobs. YMCA partners with a wide range of governmental, foundation, private sector, nonprofit and university partners to develop youth education and employment programs, skills, networks and opportunities to improve their long-term income generating potential.

YMCA is seeking partners to strengthen and scale innovative youth employment initiatives around the world to reach at least 1 million youth annually by 2022.