Many youth employment programs have been implemented worldwide in an effort to integrate youth in the labor market and/or improve the quality of the jobs they have. The impact of these interventions has been somewhat limited. A recent meta-analysis of evaluations of youth-targeted interventions found that only a third of them reported a statistically significant and positive impact on employment outcomes or earnings (Kluve et al. 2016).
Part of the problem is that most programs do not affect the processes of job creation or labor productivity growth, often at the core of the youth employment challenges. Going forward, addressing this challenge will require more comprehensive and integrated approaches that focus not only on connecting young people to jobs, but also on promoting the creation of new jobs and improving the quality of existing jobs.