Across the globe, employment is a critical concern for policy makers, companies, and billions of people striving to make a living. In a world emerging from economic crisis, more than 200 million people are unemployed. About one third of these people is under the age of 25. The youth unemployment rate is three times higher than the rate for their adult counterparts.
Inequality between the rich and the poor has been rising in both advanced and developing countries. It poses a risk for economic growth and political stability. Social unrest is gradually increasing as joblessness persists. Especially in countries with high or rapidly increasing youth unemployment.
In developing countries, the problem for many people is not the lack of a job: many hold more than one and work long hours. However, too often they do not earn enough to provide a better future for themselves and their families. Or they work without the protection of their basic rights.
Employment is critical for both economic and social development. A job provides income security and hence helps reducing poverty. It also provides self-esteem and dignity, makes people acquire relevant skills, and brings social cohesion. People aspire jobs based on what motivates them and makes their lives meaningful. Jobs are not only valuable for those who hold them, but for the development of society as a whole.