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
via Europe Failing to Combat Youth Unemployment – SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Only Austria, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have youth unemployment rates below 10 percent
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UE / Youth unemployment has been around long before the crisis
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Europe Youth Unemployment and the EU Youth Strategy
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US / Surpassing much of Europe in youth unemployment
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 »
Europe / Barroso calls for ‘ambitious’ youth jobs plan
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 »
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