National Youth Commission
Urban Youth Unemployment in Papua New Guinea –
Trends, Characteristics and Challenges for Productive
New Directions in Research – Security/ Local Governance
17-19th June, 2014
Bull Lecture Theatre 3 – ANU
Presenter: Peter Balone Kanaparo
A Research Project Funded by National Youth Commission
Findings of:
National Capital District, Hagen, Kokopo, Goroka,
Lae, and Madang in Papua New Guinea
Mr. Peter Balone Kanaparo – (Presenter)
School of Business Administration, University of
Papua New Guinea, PNG
Overview of the Presentation
• Findings from the Research Study
• Common issues and challenges facing Youth in
Papua New Guinea today.
• Importance of Stakeholder Partnership and
collaboration in addressing Youth Issues in
• Key strategies and plans by National Youth
• Conclusion
• Way forward
Number of Youth Respondents /Participants
Mt. Hagen
– Males = 27 Females = 24
– Males = 28 Females = 27
– Males = 29 Females = 26
– Males = 30 Females = 20
– Males = 24 Females = 28
– Males = 27 Females = 28
Total Males = 165
Total Respondents = 318
Age = 12 to 35+
Total Females = 153
Research QuestionsPage
1. Labour Market Prospects
• Why did you come to the town or city?
• Are you employed – for how long have you been working?
2. Implications for labour market policies
• In terms of labour market policy making, what would you
like the government to do?
• Do you think the social issues caused by youth are result of
unemployment problem?
• As a solution, what would be the appropriate policy
• Assistance from Donors and Trade Missions
• Do you think the current Youth Policy (long-term benefits)
approach meets the expectation of Medium Term
Development Goals and the Vision 2050s developmental
Urban Youth Unemployment – Answers to
Research Questions
• Migration of young people depends on various reasons
possibly depending on the economic (macro and micro)
development of the nation.
• The core reasons why youth migrate to cities and towns
are in search for jobs and to study.
• The study reveals that 44 percent (n=141) migrated to
the urban centers in search for job opportunities, 32
percent (n=101) for schooling, and 24 percent (n=6) for
other reasons like staying with relatives, and scarce
resource or inadequate economic activities in the rural
Urban Youth Unemployment – Answers to
Research Questions
• It is revealed that 32 % (n=103) of the urban youth
out of 318 respondents are employed whilst 68 %
(n=215) are unemployed. Of 103 employed, 12 %
(n=14) are in the formal and 86 % (n=89) are in the
informal sectors respectively.
• Unlike formal sector employment, informal sector
employs most of the unemployed youth in both
rural &urban areas.
• It is also stated from 146 out of 318 respondents
that the government should create more job
opportunities for unemployed youth in the
Urban Youth Unemployment – Answers to Research
• From policy perspective, 142 (45%) respondents revealed that
the current youth policy is meeting the expectations of MTD
goals and Vision 2050’s development pillars.
• While 176 (55%) respondents stated that the current youth
policy is not meeting the expectations of MTD goals and Vision
2050’s development pillars.
• Twenty six (8%) respondents indicated that the general youth
situation and unemployment is good by 26 respondents (8%),
while 22 (7%) stated that it is good but not really good where
many of the youth policies and MTD goals are still in the
implementation stages.
• However, of the 318 respondents, 270 (85%) respondents are
not happy with the general youth situation and the chronic
unemployment issues faced by youth.
Urban Youth Unemployment
Types of Urban Youth Unemployment
1. Frictional Unemployment
2. Structural Unemployment
3. Cyclical Unemployment
4. Technological Unemployment
5. Seasonal Unemployment
1. Frictional Unemployment
• Frictional unemployment occurs when young
people search for jobs that best suits their
skills and preferences.
• Frictional unemployment represents the
unusual amount of unemployment resulting
from young people who have left jobs that did
not work out are searching for new jobs, or
young people who are either entering or reentering the labour force to search for jobs.
2. Structural Unemployment
• Structural unemployment is one of the determinant
of urban youth being unemployed.
• It usually results from shifts in the pattern of
demand for goods and services or changes in
technology in the economy that affect the
profitability of hiring young workers in specific
• Structural unemployment often requires that young
workers who lose their jobs learn new skills or move
to another location to find satisfactory new jobs.
When the demand for goods decreases, some
young workers will naturally be dismissed as
production of those goods decline.
3. Cyclical Unemployment
• Cyclical unemployment is evident among young
people in most of the urban centers in PNG.
• Cyclical unemployment results from recurring
depressions and cyclical fluctuations in business
activities and government projects.
• It is also attributable directly to a cyclical decline in
real gross national product (GNP).
• Cyclical unemployment is the amount of
unemployment resulting from declines in real GNP
during periods of construction or recession when the
economy fails to operate at its potential level.
4. Technological Unemployment
• Technological unemployment is
manifested in some urban centers.
• This type of unemployment arises due
to the advancement of science and
technology, resulting in the invention of
labour- saving machines and other
devices to accelerate production.
4. Seasonal Unemployment
• Seasonal unemployment arises during
certain periods that usually result from
the reduction in demands for labour.
• This is maybe attributed to the
seasonal pattern of consumer’s habits
or to variation in production associated
with climatic change.
Urban Youth Underemployment
• Urban youth underemployment is evident in
the urban centers.
• The total amount of unemployment in any
month in PNG is the sum of frictional,
structural, and cyclical unemployment.
• Frictional and structural unemployment
result from natural and perhaps
unavoidable occurrences in a dynamic
• Cyclical unemployment, however, is the
result of imbalances between aggregate
purchases and the aggregate production
corresponding to full employment.
National Youth Commission’s Task ahead:
Challenges, Issues & Tasks done.
Education Reform Implications Cont!...
Issue 1: PNG Youth In School Attendance
Issue 2.
Employment and Un-employment
• About 80,000 young people leave school every year.
• Less than 10,000 young people absorbed by formal labour
• Employment index reveals a real decline in the numbers
employed in industries since 1990.
• One third (1/3) of total population is self-employed.
Note this is according to National Department of Education
Issue 3
. Rural urban migration
• Urbanization is a major feature of development in
every country. In the year 2000, it was estimated
that 686,301 people in Papua New Guinea were
living in urban centers. The growth in the urban
population is attributed to two (2) main factors:
• the migration of rural population to the urban
• the desire for modernization for commerce and
industry with the desire for urban amenities such as
health and education services
How do we address these issues in Papua New
NYC has taken a major step forward in addressing
these issues and challenges facing our youths in
PNG. NYC’s Major Program Implementation Plan:
National Youth Commission approach towards Youth
Development in PNG
Current Status on Youth Development
National Youth Policy 2010-2017 taken into consideration
- Millennium Development Goals (UN)
- Vision 2050 (PNG Government)
- Medium term Development Plan (2011-2015)
• 5 Year Provincial Youth Development Plans the component consist of
- Decentralization function of Youth Commission
- Statistics on Youth in Papua New Guinea
- National Youth Issues for Provincial Action
- Youth Friendly Centre as a major program component
- Key Strategic Program Areas on Youth Programs
NYC’s New Directions:
1. Revitalisation Programs
1.1. Provincial Youth Development Plan (Provincial level…)
1.2. National Youth Council Network (delivery magnesium)
Youth Network (provinces/districts/LLGs).
Main delivery mechanism/vehicle to deliver services
1.3. National Youth Development Authority (NYDA)
NYC Office/PNG Youth Development HQ/National icon for youths of PNG.
NYDI will be the nations focal point in coordinating youth development work in PNG.
1.4. Corporate Plan (2013-2016)
1.5. Annual Plan
1.6 Organizational Restructure (after the new Bill)
1.7. Education, Training & Capacity Building (Youth program, (DWU Diploma)
NYDA is the Prerequisites /necessary tools for NYC to move on….
NYC’s New Directions…….Cont.
2. National Youth Development Institute (National Govt. funded)
2.1. One-stop shop, a multi purpose complex for youths: Information /Resource
Centre (1st Pillar, Vision 2015)
2.2. Provincial /District Youth Friendly Centres
- NYC entering MOUs with Provincial Govts. Or Local MPs
2.3. A centre for youths to have access to user friendly programs and activities.
2.4. Interact and involve in activities that provides necessary skills in life.
3. Youth Employment & Enterprise Development
3.1. National Youth Employment Framework (main activity to create employment)
3.2. SME baseline survey/self-generating income activities
3.3. Self-management Clinic
• Self-confidence & building self-esteem
Directions for further Policy Analysis
• The policy implication of youth-focused
development is that it brings questions of
marginality at the centre of political decision
• This is central because, failure to do so diverts
attention away from State and other actors with
the power and Moral & Legal responsibility to
intervene and bring about change.
• More empirical studies is needed to produce
evidence based youth policies.
Consistency and continuity are the key
elements in implementing of this vital youth
development programs & activities.
Yet, the issues of Youth Unemployment &
Others is “Not a One-Way Street”. Consistency
and Continuity is vital component but the
most important is: Stakeholders intervention
through --------
•Relevant national state agencies
•Provincial administrations
•International Non-Government Organizations
•International governments
•Aid Donor Agencies
•United Nations development agencies
•Local Non-Government Organizations
•Community based organizations
• PNG has a problem with its youth: Unemployment, Crime
violence, rural urban migration, etc…
• The Cost to PNG is significant: bad image, Loss of
productivity, Cost of security, etc…
• NYC is the government’s mandated body to advise on
and coordinate youth activities in PNG.
• NYC has formulated a plan and direction to address the
• NYC among other strategic interventions is proposing a
centralized coordinated model with a reach to the
provinces that focuses initially on training the future
• The government is being asked to support NYC’s plan.
Way forward
Political Commitment,
Administrative Drive, &
Stakeholder Participation
The end
thank you
“Lets us all collaborate, mainstream & partner
in Addressing Youth Issues in Papua New
Guinea for better future”.

Urban Youth Unemployment in Papua New Guinea – Trends