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More than a number: Youth unemployment in 2020

We’ve all seen the stats. However the real life experience of being a young person unemployed or underemployed is a different story. Our report ‘More than a number’, details findings from our conversations with 546 young people around the world who are looking for work during an extraordinarily challenging time in our history.


The immediate impact of the Coronavirus economic downturn has been catastrophic and unequal, with young people hit the hardest. Roles typically held by young people such as those in retail, hospitality and tourism, have been impacted hardest by Coronavirus shutdowns. Rising unemployment coupled with feelings of disconnection, isolation and uncertainty compound to create a perfect storm of challenges for young people - the impact of which could lead to devastating consequences.


At Talent, this concern is woven into the fabric of our organisation. In 2014, we founded Talent RISE which offers education, training, work readiness programs, and job placement opportunities for young people who experience challenging barriers to employment. As we approached Talent’s annual volunteering day in 2020, we wanted to do more to assist RISE. Rather than one day, we mobilised Talent’s global workforce to reach out and provide support to young people impacted by unemployment for an entire week.


What you will see in this report are our findings from the 546 conversations that took place during that week. Confronting and cathartic, the calls provided a powerful snapshot into the real state of youth unemployment and the challenges our young people are facing. These aren’t numbers, they are human beings. Humans that represent our future workforce. We hope our findings help to put stories behind the statistics and shed light on a problem we all have a collective responsibility to solve.


Click here to download our ‘More than a number’ report for insights into:


// The current struggles youth are facing when searching for employment
// The impact of COVID-19 on the job search
// Observations from our recruiters
// How you can get involved and provide support