At the global level, the youth unemployment rate in 2009 was 2.7 times higher than the adult unemployment rate. In four of nine regions the ratio went beyond 3. Why are youth unemployment rates so much higher than adult rates? There are many likely explanations:
The last-in, first-out explanation. Youth are more vulnerable than adults in difficult economic times. They are likely to have less work experience than adults. Assuming that employers seek employees with past experience, the youth who is entering the labor force for the first time will be at a disadvantage and have a harder time finding employment vis-à-vis an adult with a longer history of work experience. In times of surplus labor competing for a limited amount of jobs, the youth will be the “last in”.