About the CES YLMI

The CES Youth Labour Market Index (CES YLMI) is a multidimensional composite index that enables comparison of young people’s labour market situation across countries and over time. The index consists of twelve indicators grouped into four dimensions. In contrast a single-indicator approach using something like the unemployment rate, the CES YLMI accounts for multiple aspects of employment. Specifically, the CES YLMI captures the participation of youth in the labour market (dimension: Activity State), job quality for employed youth (dimension: Working Conditions), education situation of youth (Education) and transition from education into the labor market (dimension: Transition Smoothness). Index scores range on a scale from one to seven, where higher scores indicate more favorable youth labor market situations.

Data used for the calculation of the CES YLMI is restricted to youth aged 15-24 for all but two indicators. This age interval is typically used by the international organizations providing the raw data for the CES YLMI, ensuring a broad data foundation. The CES YLMI is available from 1991-2020 for 181 countries around the globe. Data availability is best for the set of developed countries. The raw data for calculating the CES YLMI is taken directly from the statistical offices’ servers via application programming interfaces (APIs). This makes updating of raw data faster and less time consuming.

Related index for developing countries

The Labor Market Index for Lower-Income Countries (YLILI) complements the CES YLMI in that it is specifically tailored to measure youth labor market conditions in developing countries, especially those with larger informal labor markets.

Hosting of the index

The CES YLMI is hosted by the CES Chair of Education Systems at the Department of Management and Technology at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, which is dedicated to the improvement of education and training systems worldwide CES Chair website .


This project was funded from 2014-2017 by the Gebert Ruef Stiftung and was initially published as KOF Youth Labor Market Index (KOF YLMI). Since 2020, the index is hosted and maintained as CES YLMI at the Chair of Education Systems (CES) at the ETH Zurich. Authors of the web tool are: Mesut Ceylan, Johanna Bolli-Kemper, and Samuel Rauh. We thank Matthias Bannert for his support in implementing the web tool.

More information on the CES YLMI

More information on the CES YLMI (e.g. technical report, in-depth analyses) can be found on the CES website .

Table 1: Description of the twelve indicators of the CES YLMI

Table 2: Sources of the CES YLMI by indicator