Youth Unemployment in Armenia Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

academic research on this topic, present a causal argument, identify key variables, operationalize these variables, identify between 2 and 3 research hypotheses, specify and justify the relevant research method to test the given hypotheses, address possible obstacles or problems this research might confront and how to overcome these, and a correctly formatted and relevant 10 source bibliography.

Youth unemployment in Armenia.

Youth unemployment rates in Armenia are at an all-time high, but what is leading to its increase? Unemployment rates in countries are defined by individuals who are currently jobless but are seeking active employment within the last four weeks (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009). It is particularly interesting to see such a high youth unemployment rate because statistics show that the general unemployment rate within adults in Armenia has decreased from 7.1% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2011 (Index Mundi, 2012) yet unemployment amongst the youth contuse unabated and shows no tendency to decline. Several negative things are correlated with youth unemployment. Examples in this include preventions of socializations in the labor market which lead to negative social consequences, cycles of dependence on parents and an increased likelihood of drug and/or alcohol consumptionu (World Bank, 2007). The following paper will investigate possible results of unemployment in youth unemployment in Armenia and propose to test whether these variables still exist and, if so, to which extent.

Armenia is a relatively young country, and the youth (aged 15-24years) comprise about 18.5% of the population, but there is high unemployment rate amongst this youth as well and, as a result, many are migrating (I Matter Armenia (2012)). In fact, the CIA (2012) records that "Armenia and Macedonia have the two highest youth unemployment rates of countries anywhere in the world" with Armenia preceding Macedonia at a high of 57.7%. In other words, Armenia boasts the dubious record of having a youth unemployment rate that is the steepest in the entire world -- and that includes that of the developing countries as well as other countries experiencing stress of war (see fig. 1)! Their high long-term unemployment and the rising rate points to worrying economic stress.

A few years before, in May 2007, the World Bank had released a striking report on Armenia's labor dynamics. The report included a chapter on "Youth Employment and Unemployment." With the NSS noting that over a third of youth aged between 15-24 neither work nor study. Such a large number was worrying for the NSS since it prevents socialization in the labor market and may propagate anti-social behavior such as drinking, drugs, and crime. Still more alarming are the significant numbers of those who not only dropped out of the labor market but are no longer looking for a job ( Social science in the Caucasus, 2007)

In 2001, the World Bank had released a census showing that the net enrollment rate of young people aged 15 -- 24 in education in Armenia was 35.8%, while 28.7% of the population aged 15 -- 24 were employed; in other words that the unemployed ratio of youth was almost as much as that studying in academic institutions (, 2010). Unemployment may not be due to laziness or low education since relatively few youth drop out of the compulsory education system and many do migrate in search of employment showing that they are willing to work. Young people also have a tangible participation in Armenia's labor market according to the census report of 2001 which shows that youth constitute approximately 18% of the civil labor force (ratio of youth was almost as much as that studying in academic institutions (, 2010). Nonetheless, adults in their prime almost triple the amount of youth that make up Armenia's labor force. In 2003, the ratio of youth to adult unemployment rate was 2.5 and growing (ibid)

Still today, unemployment rates among the Armenian youth reaches a peak of 48.9% with more young women (56.6%) unemployed than young men (43%) (YouthBank. Armenia). Many people, therefore, leave the country in search for jobs travelling primarily to the Russian Federation or to other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (Ibid).

Sociodemographic Characteristics of Registered Unemployed Young People in Armenia

In 2005, two youth-related surveys were conducted to investigate characteristics of the Armenian youth labor market. One study was conducted among the youth registered at the State Employment Service (SES), whilst another was conducted among the students of vocational education establishments. Both were conducted in primary vocational and secondary specialized schools. Results found that 46% of the surveyed households had only one employed member, 23% of households had at least two employed members, and only 4% of households had three or more employed members. Results also found that parents of registered unemployed young people possessed mainly secondary general or secondary specialized education and that about 15 to 17% of parents of unemployed youth had higher

Education. The researchers concluded that low education on the part of the parents may partially explain the high degree of unemployment rate amongst Armenian youth. The majority of the unemployed youth too came from households that evidenced a low living standard: 77

percent estimated their household's income of constituting 50,000 drams, or around 10,000

drams (U.S.$20) per person per month.

The report also discovered that the unemployed youth themselves had low levels of education and little motivation to continue their studies. Those who wished to do so had negligible or non-existent financial opportunities to do so. Only 43% of the respondents had completed vocational education of any level whilst only 13% of unemployed youth had higher education. Women were 1.7 times more likely than men to have completed higher education. Respondents mentioned the following reasons for failing o continue with their studies: failure

To be accepted by vocational and higher education schools (32%), financial

Constraints and the need to work instead of studying (29%), and lack of interest in continuing studies (27%) (Youth Bank. Armenia).

The 2005 intensive Survey of Unemployed Youth too found that the vocational specialization that most of these unemployed people possessed (approximately one-fourth of the respondents) was into medical field particularly in nursing, obstetrics, and dental technician. There was simply a surplus of these skills and insufficient gaps in the job market for these people to fill them.

The second most frequent specialization was teaching (20%), followed by accounting (8%). The fields of Building construction and the natural sciences faced the lowest rates of unemployment (1.1) which was followed by the applied sciences (geology, physics, psychology) at 2.6 and transport, Mechanics and Technology at 3.7% respectively. Computer Engineering, the Arts and philology were in the 4.4% region, whilst Engineering, Economics and Law were at a higher rate of 4.8%. Unfortunately, although youth with medical specialization face the highest unemployment rates, people still continue to study these subjects in Armenia based on their interest in these topics. The youth largely continue to pursue subjects that reflect their interest rather than that of labor market needs.

In a related manner, the 2012 NSS study too found that vocational and technical schools were providing irrelevant and anachronistic service in that they were unacquainted with the current job needs and taught skills and education that were ill-matched for the job market (YouthBank. Armenia). This was reinforced by the discoveries of the WorldBank studies (2005) which found that parents and students were ill-informed about the current market needs and that there was a gap between labor and academic institutions. Fifty one percent of the respondents of the 2005 study contribute their unemployment to lack of relevant qualifications, education, skills, and knowledge, but only one-fifth of them tried to change their vocational profile to meet current needs. Most responded that they didn't have the financial wherewith all to do so. Both the NSS study and the WorldBank studies noted lack of vocational counseling that may have helped the students early on match their skills to the labor market need.

Patterns of Unemployed Youth in Armenia and the Labor Market

The 2005 intensive Survey of Unemployed Youth found that unemployed young people registered at the employment service stayed on the roster for a long time -- an average of 19.7 months. Integration into the labor market was the most difficult for craftsmen, Lawyers, engineers, and medical service providers with some staying on the roster as long -- and longer -- than 25.6 months. It seemed to be that, as a rule, the higher the level of education amongst the respondent the shorter his length of time on the roster. Those without a specialty were registered for 21.5 months compared to a mean of 19 months for those with a specialty.

More so, the vast majority of respondents (74%) had limited and short-term work experience most of them only managing to kind one job before filing for unemployment. More than half of the respondents (57%) had up to two years of work experience, 40% had up to five years, and only 3% had five or more years of work experience (, 2010). The…

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