Countries with the best job opportunities for the youth and why

The initial experience in the labor market has a profound influence on later working life. Getting off to a good ‌start facilitates youth integration into the world of work. It also lays the foundation for a good career, while it can be difficult to catch up after an initial failure. According to the World Bank, the global labor force has increased by nearly 200 million people in the last five years. The majority of this labor force is younger people under the age of 35. Generation Xers was surpassed by millennials in the U.S. in 2016 to become the party with the highest share of labor.


 For too many countries, the rate of unemployment is increasing each year because of inflation. With so many job losses, most people are forced to leave their homelands in search of jobs. If you like the idea of working in other countries think about relocating for greener pastures to the following nations. There are several different reasons why people leave their home country to go and work elsewhere, whether it is for better opportunities, better weather, or just a change of pace in their daily 9 to 5. The biggest problem is trying to narrow down where to go from the huge list of countries all offering different things and conflicting factors: from job opportunities to salary considerations, rent prices, and more.

U.S. News (2020) published that the 2020 Best Countries to Start a Career ranking draws from a global survey focused on expectations and countries are ranked based on scores from a set of seven similarly weighted country attributes: a strong job market, economically secure, creative, income equality, innovative, a place I will stay and progressive. Over 8,500 people under the age of 35 completed surveys for the 2019 Best Countries rankings. Data from the research entails that the top five countries to start a career, according to young adults around the world are Russia, Poland, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and France.


 In France, there are incentives for young professionals to start a career because of the increasing demand for skilled labor and falling unemployment levels. According to Reuters, some of the most demanding sectors in the country include manufacturing, engineering, and information technology. A study about millennial careers discovered that 50%-59% of millennials in France were confident about their career prospects. Qualified staff in the United Arab Emirates are in high demand, where local expertise is substantially in shortage. High salaries coupled with low living costs have traditionally drawn professionals to the oil-rich region. A survey by the World Economic Forum found that in the UAE, only one in ten local respondents perceived unemployment as a serious issue.


From 2019, Spain jumped up five places to hold the No. 3 spot on that list. While the Latin country's unemployment rate remains extraordinarily high, the figure fell to 14.2 percent in 2018 and is expected to fall to 12.2 percent by 2020, according to the International Trade Administration. Spain has a thriving tourism industry and is the second-largest tourist destination in the world. The country accommodated 82.8 million foreign visitors in 2018. Poland's economy is the highest in Central Europe and was Europe's only country to escape recession during the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. Agricultural and mining industries dominate the country's free-market economy. Poland's \"low unemployment rate and high wage growth continue to drive private consumption; public and private investment is growing too,\" says Carlos Piñerúa, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic States.


In 2019, Russia jumped up three places to hold the No. 1 spot in the ranking. According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, more than half of Russians between the ages of 25 and 34 have completed a tertiary degree making for a competitive job market. Although closed to international business traditionally, Moscow is making a name for itself as a startup center. The Skolkovo Innovation Center hosts hundreds of startups and provides grants of up to $ 10 million.


According to the Youth Village South Africa(2015), there are also other countries with the best job opportunities for the youth, and further elaborations about them are given. Singapore is amongst these countries. The most optimistic sectors in Singapore are finance, insurance, real estate, and wholesale & retail trade. It is an ex-pat ideal offering a better quality of life and career prospects. Australia has also attracted many professionals because of its well-paying positions and sunny climate. The country’s skilled migrant scheme has attracted many professionals who are in the health, engineering, and education departments. 80% of ex-pats say their working life has improved since moving to New Zealand. It has a 73.5% employment rate, beautiful landscape, climate, and most importantly its native English language.


Taiwan is perfect if you are in the transport business because transportation and utilities show the most optimism there. According to the information published by the Youth Village South Africa in 2015, Denmark was ranked number one in the world for providing the best work-life balance by OECD(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The fact that it is not overpopulated makes it easy to find employment. Norway is another small country with a 75.6% employment rate and the employment rate for women with children of about 79% of the total.


The main benefits of moving to Egypt are financial wealth and security. 81% of the ex-pats living in Egypt reported higher salaries and 95.5% seem to have higher disposable income since relocating. Saudi Arabia offers financial security with nearly 98% ex-pats reporting a higher disposable income. China is best for career or money prospects, ex-pats have a positive outlook on the economy and it has a low cost of child-raising.


Morris (2017) stated that Germany was named the world’s best place to be a young person. The rankings were listed in the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Global Youth Development Index and Report, which researched and analyzed what life is like in the five key areas below for the world's 1.8bn people between the ages of 15-29. In the Global Youth Index and Report 2016 The study looked at 183 nations, 142 of which recorded progress over five years in their Youth Development Study (YDI) ratings. European countries dominated the top ten, featuring eight times, these included Denmark (2), Switzerland (4), and the UK (5). Australia (3) and Japan (10) alone scored high enough for countries outside Europe to make it to the top ten.


Table 1

Global YDI Rank

The ten highest-ranked  Countries

The proportion of 15 -29-year-olds































Table 1:Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016


The Commonwealth recorded the highest gains except for Pakistan, every Commonwealth country maintained or increased its YDI score between 2010-2015. Therefore, when ranking the Commonwealth countries Australia tops the list, followed by the UK and New Zealand (number 11 in the global ranking).



Table 2

Global YDI Rank

The ten highest-ranked Commonwealth Countries

The proportion of 15 -29-year-olds








New Zealand















Sri Lanka








Table 2:Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016


\"As much human development hinges on the fate of the young, and there are more young people in the world today than ever before in history, it is surprising how small and shallow the pool of data on young people still is,\" said Dr. Selim Jahan, Director, UNDP Human Development Report Office. In what is described as a \"demographic dividend\", the report outlines how the next few decades provide an opportunity for the world to harness the talent of this young generation. However, there are hurdles to clear. Unemployment is a clear and growing concern, says Mattias Lundberg and Matthew Hobson. With 250-300 million young people out of work, and a further 150-200 million in unpaid or low paid work, the global economy must ‘create millions of jobs each month simply to keep employment rates constant.’


In Sub-Saharan Africa, where despite significant improvements the YDI scores remain lowest, the young population is expected to dominate in just a few decades. Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Founder, and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for Good Governance in Africa explains: “Africa is a continent of young people…within three generations, 41 percent of the world’s youth will be Africans. “This is a wonderful resource for our continent if this resource is skilled and employed.”

Improving employment opportunities for young people requires a broad and concerted effort from all stakeholders. While governments are primarily responsible for creating an enabling environment for youth employment, Direct actions concerning job creation employers – as major providers of jobs, and workers – as direct beneficiaries, have an important role in the process. Action by employers and their organizations to support youth employment can take several forms, which varies across countries depending on national circumstances.


These include but are not limited to direct action concerning skills development and training, direct actions concerning job creation and policymaking & advocacy. If the stakeholders in different countries could look into these issues, it would be a step in the positive direction towards making their country one of the best employment destination for the youth.


Ifeoma is a Business Analytics and Research Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.


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Ifeoma Obi
This article was written by Ifeoma a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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