Youth Unemployment: Ethiopia Country Study

Project Active from to Firms and Entrepreneurship

Unemployment in Ethiopia has declined markedly since 1999, both for youth and for the economy as a whole. However, while the economy has demonstrated impressive reductions in unemployment, in urban areas and for women, unemployment figures remain high.

A recent IGC working paper by Nzinga H. Broussard (Ohio State University) and Gebrekidan Tekleselassie (University of Sussex) has examined the youth labour market in Ethiopia and provides a comprehensive description of the main characteristics of the youth labour market in Ethiopia. The report provides information on the structure and trends of employment/unemployment in Ethiopia and the authors identify important policy inputs in designing government interventions in the labour market, poverty reduction strategies, and economic growth plans that could help to improve the labour market outcomes of Ethiopian youth.

Unemployment among women is also a significant issue, as in Ethiopia display significantly higher unemployment rates than their male counterparts and are often confined to the informal sector. Furthermore, in Ethiopia, there have been significant increases in educational attainment, however, there has not been as much job creation to provide employment opportunities to the newly educated job-seekers.

Youth unemployment is a problem that affects most countries. The ability of youth to engage in productive activities has both social and economic consequences for an economy. Youth unemployment is often higher than the unemployment rate for adults, highlighting the concerns that many countries face in facilitating the transition from school to work. In developing countries, youth face not only the challenge of obtaining productive employment, but also obtaining safe and acceptable work.