It doesn’t take a degree in economics to know that unemployment hurts an economy. Would-be workers spend less because they earn less (or nothing), and a country’s financial workings and GDP suffer as a result. That much is easy to see, but many of unemployment’s effects can’t be predicted by textbooks, like the full extent of a country’s unrest, or its capacity for protest and violence. As fellow Fool contributor Dan Carroll noted in a recent article, civilian disorder in Europe has recently become catastrophic.
Is the United States that far off from this same level of turmoil? Comparatively, the U.S. youth unemployment rate is a relief, at 17.1%, compared to Greece’s 55% and Spain’s 53%. However, the proportion of Spain’s youth to its population size is much smaller than that of the U.S. Spain may have 53% unemployment, but only 30% of its youth population is looking for work, compared to 55% of U.S. youth . The numbers might be smaller, but we actually have more youths in need of work than Spain does.
The proposed changes for Europe could be beneficial for the U.S. unemployment situation. Some experts also believe that employing fresh-out-of-school students in jobs requiring 80% of a normal work schedule could build experience for young workers, while also saving money for struggling companies.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from