Politics & Policies

It’s unemployment that will haunt our children, not the deficit

And it’s not just the jobless who have suffered over the past five years: the ILO suggests that a far larger number of young people have found themselves stuck in temporary work or part-time, insecure employment.

That lack of financial security makes it harder to think about settling down, starting a family, planning for the future. For many millions of young people – an entire generation – the economic system is simply failing.

In the rich world, perhaps the heaviest toll is being exacted in the bailed-out countries of the eurozone, where the austerity policies enforced by their creditors have helped to cause a catastrophic collapse in demand.

The latest official figures, released last week, showed that in Portugal, the youth unemployment rate hit 42.1% in the first quarter of 2013, while in Greece, official figures show an extraordinary 64.2% of 15-to-24-year- olds out of work.

Even the hardest-bitten austerians couldn’t ignore the political risk of having such a large group of young people standing idle. It would be surprising if they didn’t take to the streets – and in the years to come, it will be surprising if this neglected generation doesn’t channel its resentment and anger into demands for a different economic approach.

Widely cited research by the former Bank of England policymaker Danny Blanchflower and Professor David Bell of Stirling University demonstrates the long-term “scarring” effect of unemployment on young people’s future careers. Even decades later, someone who was out of work for a stretch in their 20s is likely to be earning less on average than colleagues who were lucky enough to keep their jobs.

But today’s teenagers and twentysomethings, many of whom have watched the secure world of their parents dissolve into a confusing morass, are also likely to be politically marked by their experiences.

In Europe, the elites who led their countries into the single currency club, promising prosperity and stability, have been ruthlessly exposed. Instead, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and now Cyprus have found themselves shackled to the slash-and-burn orthodoxy of their German paymasters, which young people may rightly feel they never signed up to.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor


via It’s not the deficit that will haunt our children: it’s unemployment | Business | The Observer.

Read the report summary @

It is not easy to be young in the labour market today and skills mismatch is not helping them says ILO


The global youth unemployment rate, which had decreased from 12.7 per cent in 2009 to 12.3 per cent in 2011, increased again to 12.4 per cent in 2012, and has continued to grow to 12.6 per cent in 2013. This is 1.1 percentage points above the pre‐crisis level in 2007 (11.5 per cent). By 2018 …Continue reading »


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