Many governments in developing countries are realising that good quality jobs matter
for development. However, little attention has been paid so far to explore what actually
matters for young people in terms of job characteristics and employment conditions.
Today, in many developing and emerging countries, a key development challenge is that
existing jobs do not live up to youth aspirations.This study revisits youth labour
market performance and the quality of jobs in developing countries. It places youth
employment preferences at the forefront and answers the following questions. What
is the nature of youth careers aspirations and job-related drivers of job satisfaction?
What shapes such employment preferences? How likely will young people be able to meet
their job aspirations? What policy makers can do to reduce the gap between youth preferences
and the reality of jobs?The study draws on the comprehensive data from school-to-work
transition surveys in 32 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia, Europe
and Latin America. It suggests a number of priority areas for policy makers to enhance
youth well-being, raise labour productivity, and contain the chilling effects that
unmet youth aspirations can generate on society.