The unemployment rate in Colombia for individuals under 30 is at a staggering 16%, surpassing the national average of 9%. This figure highlights an issue in Colombia’s labor market, particularly the lack of experience among young job seekers. According to DANE, about 2.48 million young Colombians are inactive in both education and employment, representing 22.1% of the youth population.
This issue is more acute among young women in Colombia. The statistics show that 1.66 million of the affected demographic are females, in contrast to 821,000 males. This gender disparity often originates from systemic challenges, including the high costs associated with formal employment.
The high youth unemployment rate in Colombia has significant economic and social implications. Economically, it represents a loss of potential productivity and innovation. Socially, prolonged unemployment can lead to issues such as increased poverty, social exclusion, and even mental health challenges among the youth.
Government policy responses
The Colombian government has recognized the urgency of this issue and has been implementing policies aimed at reducing youth unemployment. These include initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, vocational training programs, and incentives for companies to hire young workers.
Addressing this unemployment crisis in Colombia requires a joint effort between the private sector and educational institutions. Aligning workforce skills with market demands is essential. David Cubides from Alianza Valores in Colombia highlights the importance of reducing formal hiring costs and fostering cooperation between various sectors and educational institutions.
There has been a slight decrease in the youth unemployment rate compared to last year, indicating progress in Colombia. The informal employment rate has also seen a reduction to 55.5%, a drop of 2.5 points from 2023. These figures reflect the ongoing efforts in Colombia to find strategies that will effectively address unemployment issues.