Four years ago — that was before the euro crisis began. Since then, the Greek government has approved a series of austerity programs, which have been especially hard on young people. The unemployment rate among Greeks under 25 has been above 50 percent for months. The situation is similarly dramatic in Spain, Portugal and Italy. According to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, the rate of unemployment among young adults in the EU has climbed to 23.5 percent. A lost generation is taking shape in Europe. And European governments seem clueless when they hear the things people like Athenian university graduate Alexandros are saying: “We don’t want to leave Greece, but the constant uncertainty makes us tired and depressed.”
Instead of launching effective education and training programs to prepare Southern European youth for a professional life after the crisis, the Continent’s political elites preferred to wage old ideological battles. There were growing calls for traditional economic stimulus programs at the European Commission in Brussels. The governments of debt-ridden countries paid more attention to the status quo of their primarily older voters. Meanwhile, the creditor nations in the north were opposed to anything that could cost money.
In this way, Europe wasted valuable time, at least until governments were shaken early this month by news of a very worrisome record: Unemployment among 15- to 24-year-olds has climbed above 60 percent in Greece.
Suddenly Europe is scrambling to address the problem. Youth unemployment will top the agenda of a summit of European leaders in June. And Italy’s new prime minister, Enrico Letta, is demanding that the fight against youth unemployment become an “obsession” for the EU.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
Only Austria, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have youth unemployment rates below 10 percent
Low wages and a lack of available jobs are plaguing the EUs young and educated. Greece’s 15-24 year olds are facing unprecedented levels of unemployment, while Portugal is witnessing a mass exodus as endemic joblessness drives its youth abroad. The UN labor office predicts a global rise in unemployment of 12.8 percent by 2018. Across … Continue reading »
Last week, Secretary Kerry made his first speech as Secretary of State at the University of Virginia where he spoke about the importance of our foreign policy, especially for young people. He said “In countries across North Africa and the Middle East, the majority of people are younger than 30 years old. About half are … Continue reading »
One of the more tragic outcomes of the euro crisis has been the gut-wrenchingly high youth unemployment rates. More than half of the young people in Greece and Spain are looking for work. “Europe is facing an often-cited “lost generation” which experiences long periods of unemployment or unstable jobs during their first working years, with … Continue reading »
Europe’s lost generation / Youth unemployment exceeds 60 percent in Greece, is above 50 percent in Spain and tops 40 percent in Portugal
Children across Europe are being driven into poverty by harsh government austerity and youth unemployment is soaring, threatening to create “lost generations” that could fire up a new continental crisis. Global charity Caritas said on Thursday that around three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain are in or have … Continue reading »
Youth unemployment is rising steadily in the EU as the economic crisis in Europe deepens. The latest data reveals an EU-wide youth unemployment rate of 22.8 percent, up from 21.7 percent a year ago as those under 25 continue to lose their jobs to the economic slowdown… Click here to see each country’s unemployment stats … Continue reading »
The United States has quietly surpassed much of Europe in the percentage of young adults without jobs. It’s not just Europe, either. Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest. The grim shift — … Continue reading »
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday urged Europe’s leaders to come up with an “ambitious” jobs plan for youth at a June summit, as he held talks with new Italian premier Enrico Letta. Winding up a tour that has taken him to Berlin, Paris and Brussels to present his economic recipe for Italy, … Continue reading »