Of the young people who were either studying or combining study and work before the onset of the coronavirus crisis, 65% have learned less since the pandemic began, according to a survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The global survey, meant to study the pandemic’s effects on the lives of young people (age 18-29) in terms of employment, education, mental well-being, rights, and social activism, included over 12,000 responses from 112 countries.

The study said 73% of the respondents faced school closures, yet not all were able to transition into online or distance learning.

COVID-19 left one in eight young people, or 13%, without any access to courses, teaching or training, it noted.

Underlining that the pandemic is also taking a heavy toll on young workers, destroying their employment and undermining their career prospects, the report said: “One in six young people [17%] who were employed before the outbreak, stopped working altogether, most notably younger workers aged 18-24, and those in clerical support, services, sales, and crafts and related trades.”

Working hours among employed youth fell by nearly a quarter, and two out of five young people reported a reduction in their income, especially in lower-income countries.

Showing that the disruption damaged young people’s mental well-being, the study found that 17% of them are likely affected by anxiety or depression.

“Young people whose education or work was either disrupted or had stopped altogether were almost twice as likely to be affected by anxiety or depression as those who continued to be employed or whose education was on track,” it said.

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