Plans to hold a conference next fall on youth unemployment in industrial nations will probably be approved next week at a Paris meeting of leading foreign and finance ministers, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal.
The proposal, urgently advanced by some leading European nations, will have the endorsement of the United States.
The conference would be held under the aegis of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a Paris-based group to 24 industrial countries.
It represents a depening concern over the persistence of high levels of unemployment, especially the problem of unemployment in the 16 to 24 years ago group.
Next week's forum is the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) of the OECD, the top level ministerial committee of the organization. In a sense, this will be the first follow-up meeting to the Downing Street economic summit held on May 8 and 9.
In addition to formal debate on the unemployment conference, the Paris sessions next week will take up problems of international trade North-South (rich nation-poor nation) problems, and balance of payments financing.
The meeting will also review the progress of economic growth in the West, especially the commitment of the major nations to take whatever action is necessary to meet their stated targets.
American officials who have been working with the OECD to pave the way for the conference quickly admit that no magic solutions can be expected to the youth unemployment problem from an international conference.
"But it's a process," a White House aide said. "It raises the visibility of the problem."
OECD statistics show that 40 per cent of those unemployed in the industrial world are under 25 years of age, although they make up only 22 per cent of the labor force.
In Europe, where the average jobless rate is about 5 per cent, the youth unemployment is over 10 per cent. Economists and policymakers throughout the OECD area, including the United States, are convinced that even when and if economic recovery speeds up, unemployment among young persons (and among women and blacks) is not likely to show comparable improvement.