The prevalence of youth unemployment is one of the socio- economic problems facing Ethiopia in general and study area in particular, where the youth faces severe challenge in getting work. But, the issue of unemployment in the area and the youth unemployment especially in the rural areas so far was not well assessed. In light of this problem, this study is conducted with an objective of assessing the determinants of rural youth unemployment. Primary data obtained from 192 youth randomly selected from six kebeles of Essera Woreda, Dawro Zone, Southern Ethiopia are used for the study. Simple frequencies, chi–square and binary logistic regression model were used to analyze data. The results of the study revealed that, age of youth, educational status of youth, income level of youth’s family, entrepreneurship training of youth, access of agricultural land for youth, market access and social network have positive relations and significantly determine youth unemployment in the study area. On the contrary, big household size of the respondents’ family has negative relation and has significant effect to youth unemployment. Based on the findings of the study, improving the accessibility of agricultural land for youth, encourage youth to improve their education, providing entrepreneurship training to the youth in the short- and long-term objectives based on interest and potentials were suggested as recommendations.
Keywords: Rural youth, employed, unemployed, logitistic regression, Essera woreda.