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Youth unemployment crisis is ‘far from over’: ILO

Global youth unemployment rates may be making a "mild recovery" but only a fraction of young adults are looking forward to good career prospects, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Thursday.

Youth unemployment rates have stabilized since the start of the global financial crisis with 13 percent, or 73.3 million people, unemployed in 2014, compared to 76.6 million in 2009.

People stand in line to enter a job fair in New York.
John Moore | Getty News Images | Getty Images
People stand in line to enter a job fair in New York.

This rate however, is expected to tick up slightly this year to 13.1 percent, according to the ILO's "Global Employment Trends for Youth 2015" report published to coincide with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Lima, Peru.

However, some parts of the world are suffering more than others. Most of Europe, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and other developed economies saw a decline in unemployment since 2012; however, rates have risen in parts of Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

While more young people are opting to enter further education, many face long-term unemployment or temporary jobs when they choose to enter the labor market full-time, the report found.

Overall, the ILO warn that the stability of career prospects is becoming "increasingly tentative."

The organization also warned that levels of job security could worsen for developed countries, as while securing a job is becoming more attainable, formal employment on a permanent contract is becoming less achievable. Consequently, many are accepting jobs which are below their aspirations.

In ILO's school-to-work transition survey, it took an average of 19.3 months for youths to complete this transition, with it taking women on average up to 19.9 months to obtain a stable job.

On top of this, young adults are finding it difficult to find work in countries which were particularly impacted by the economic crisis.

Developing economies continue to be "plagued" by jobs in irregular, vulnerable working conditions and lack of formal employment, the report added. Countries are advised to implement reforms to advance working conditions and help younger workers with educational training. The ILO also suggests that nations could benefit economically from cracking down on poor working conditions.

"The working-age population of least-developed economies is expected to more than double over the next 35 years. If they are given the chance to progress from a situation of working poverty to the middle class or above, the potential for an economic boom is huge," the report said.

"We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that recovery is not universal and that almost 43 percent of the global youth labor force is still either unemployed or working, yet living in poverty. It's still not easy to be young and starting out in today's labor market," Sara Elder, lead author of the report said in a statement.

There are ways however to "alleviate the scars of the crisis", Azita Berar Awad, director of the ILO's employment policy department argues. Support must be delivered in many forms, from investing in training and education to providing access to fundamental services and skills.

"Scaling up investments in decent jobs for youth is the best way to ensure that young people can realize their aspirations, improve their living conditions and actively participate in society," the report said.

—By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her on Twitter @AlexGibbsy.