With a Government Minister having revealed recently that Guyana’s youth population has a 40 per cent unemployment rate, an economist, Dr Tarron Khemraj, has described the situation as one of worrying proportions.In an interview with this publication, Professor Dr Tarron Khemraj noted that even industrialised and developed countries going through their economic depressions did not reach this stage.Economist, Dr Tarron Khemraj“…the 40 per cent unemployment is [worrying]. The United States and Greece during their worse crisis and depression did not reach that level,” Dr Khemraj related in his interview with this publication.Dr Khemraj explained that there are different kinds of unemployment such as frictional, structural, disguised and cyclical unemployment, each of which, he noted, requires a different kind of policy solution.Frictional unemployment is one that results from workers transitioning between jobs. On the other hand, structural unemployment comes from industrial reorganisation. Disguised employment are cases where persons who are unemployed appear to be employed, while cyclical unemployment relates to economic fluctuations.“There is no short-term solution that will work in 6 months, in spite of what politicians say,” the economist advised. “It will take about two to three years to get some of the short-run problems fixed,” the economist noted.“Another problem is we don’t have a good measure of unemployment in Guyana even though the present MOF said they will work on getting monthly labour market surveys,” Khemraj also observed.Compared with the 40 per cent unemployment, which was quoted by Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton, Dr Khemraj noted that 25 per cent unemployment is consistent with an economic depression.Last month, Government had hosted a job fair attended by hundreds of youths. At the time, Dr Norton had said that the job fair was inspired by the large amount of jobless youths, amounting to 40 per cent.“Statistics show that approximately 40 per cent of the youth population in Guyana is unemployed.The Department of Youth recognises this scourge, seeks to bring Private Sector and Government agencies together to tackle this growing issue,” he explained.It is against this backdrop that the Department of Youth decided to host its first youth fair at the National Sports Hall.The high rate of youth unemployment has triggered a number of negative effects. Only in January, the Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said that 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes are committed by youths between the ages of 19 and 29.In February, Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram, told Guyana Times that unemployment will present a major challenge in the coming years.Ram spoke of some of the reasons for Guyana’s low employment rate and also expressed the belief that not enough attention is being paid to its economic and social side.“Part of the problem we have is that we have a very low wage economy,” Ram had said, adding “and it discourages people entering into the employment sector. If you get the minimum wage and you have to spend 20 per cent of it on transportation alone, it’s not a great motivator for you to work”.