A Brief Overview of Labor Market Policies from the Perspective of Young People

Today, there is a highly dynamic labor market with increasing uncertainty and complexity as a result of changes in production structure and technology. Especially as a result of the developments in information and communication technologies, the use of technology is becoming more and more valuable in labor markets. This situation has also made a highly qualified labor force indispensable in the production of goods and services. On the other hand, low-skilled labor is increasingly disadvantaged and even pushed out of the labor market completely at the end of a long and painful unemployment process. Therefore, it is inevitable that one of the defining dynamics of today’s labor markets in both developed and emerging economies is digital transformation.

In global labor markets today, on the one hand, there are problems of persistent and high unemployment, unstable and precarious jobs, mismatch of qualifications and skills, and invalidation of existing qualifications; on the other hand, the importance of human capital as a determining factor of economic development and competitiveness is increasing as a result of the rising qualifications, skills and the resulting needs of the demand side due to digitalization. This paradoxical structure undoubtedly points to a radical change in the way the labor market does business. Therefore, decent jobs in the labor market of the future will only be possible with a much more qualified workforce than the current one.

On the other hand, the crisis that started in the US economy towards the end of 2008 and quickly affected the global economy led to a decline in the number of jobs in many sectors. The impact of this crisis on labor markets is still ongoing, and its repercussions on the youth labor force are even more devastating. Young people, and among young people especially young women, are more affected by unemployment. According to data from the International Labor Organization, young people are on average 3 to 4 times more likely to face the risk of unemployment than adults. It is also important to note that many young people have no connection with the labor market or the education process. This negative outlook for the youth workforce occurs despite the improvement in educational attainment levels, and in many parts of the world, it returns to society in the form of irreparable social dislocations. In a globalized world, today’s youth are facing the risk of becoming a lost generation due to rising unemployment all over the world since the economic crisis. Under the pressure of unemployment, many young people are faced with a situation that they did not foresee before entering the labor market and are forced to work in jobs that they had not thought of working in before, and therefore have to accept unstable, informal or precarious jobs. When a young person is unemployed for a long period of time at the very beginning of his or her career, on-the-job knowledge and skills development is delayed and future earnings and job prospects are reduced. In this respect, many young people’s first experience in the labor market continues to have an unpleasant impact on their socioeconomic conditions throughout their lifetime.

Developments in the labor market are crucial for Turkey’s position as an important actor in the global economic conjuncture. In this context, it is necessary to improve the institutional functioning of the labor market, to improve the basic and vocational skills of all individuals in the labor market, especially young people, women and people with low levels of education, to respond to the ever-changing needs of the labor market, and to reveal how digital transformation and developments in information technologies affect the labor market and how these effects can be turned into opportunities.

Scroll to top
Skip to content