Global poverty and employment

facts & stats About World Poverty and Employment

“Get a job!” If only it were that easy. Stable employment is key for escaping poverty, which is why we work so hard to help our teens find it. But significant barriers to finding jobs stand in the way. When work is available, it is often no cakewalk.

  • What keeps youth who grow up in poverty from finding a job? Some of the barriers include: limited access to job networks, not knowing how to actually search for a job and write a résumé or conduct an interview.

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  • As of 2008, there were 215 million child laborers (age 517) in the world, and 115 million were engaged in hazardous work.

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  • 13% of the world’s youth (age 1524) are unemployed — that’s 74 million young people.

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  • What is “informal employment”? Well, it’s not casual Fridays. It basically means jobs that aren’t regulated, taxed or protected, where workers may face dangerous conditions, discrimination and unpaid wages. In Guatemala and Honduras, up to 80% of working youth (age 1524) are informally employed.

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  • A woman’s earning potential will be up to 20% higher for every year of schooling she completes.

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Our goal? Breaking the cycle of poverty. Period.

Our vision is every child graduates from our program healthy, educated, empowered and employed.

See how it works


  • World Bank Employment Policy Primer, 2010
  • UN WESO, 2015
  • UN FAO, 2014
  • World Bank eLibrary. “Returns on Investments in Education,” 2002
  • UNESCO: EFA Global Monitoring Report, Youth and skills: Putting Education to Work, 2012

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