Published on Data Blog

Where can the youth find employment?

July 15 marks World Youth Skills Day. The youth1—those born between 1994 and 2003—account for 16% of the world's total population. These 1.2 billion people are likely first-time job seekers or those relatively new to the labor market.

Where can they find employment? In the early 2000s, the Services sector surpassed Agriculture to become the world’s largest employer. Today, Services accounts for 50 percent of employment, while Agriculture and Industry make up 30 and 20 percent, respectively.

Sector employment data does not delve into one’s employment status (e.g. salaried worker versus self-employed worker) or occupation. But the global employment shift from Agriculture and other labor-intensive activities to the Services sector suggests that there are changes in required skills—especially in the poorer economies, which are largely agriculture-based.

Visit the World Development Indicators page, or the World Bank Open Data page to learn more about the employment in Services, Industry, and Agriculture indicators used in this blog.

The United Nations defines youth as the population aged 15-24 (


Hiroko Maeda

Program Manager, Development Data Group

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000