Pia Huettl, Karen Wilson and Guntram Wolff document the phenomenon in a recent paper for Brussels-based think tank Bruegel. They found that the material deprivation rate — defined as inability to afford things above basic necessity level — has increased for young people in most European countries between 2007 and 2013, but dropped for over 65s. That’s mainly due to rising youth unemployment. In 2008, only 15.2 percent of people aged 15-24 were out of work in the European Union; in 2013, youth unemployment reached a peak of 23.7 percent, falling to 21.4 percent by the end of 2014, according to Eurostat. That rate is more than twice as high as for the total labor force.
It’s always harder for young people to find work during recessions, simply because they are less experienced both at the work itself and at searching for it. It’s also easier to lose work, because jobs for young people are often tenuous part-time arrangements. So there’s nothing particularly surprising about the rise in youth unemployment as such. What’s less intuitively clear is the role that government policy plays in widening the inter-generational wealth divide. During the recent recession, programs that might have helped younger people were generally cut. Old age programs increased:
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Old Get Richer, the Young Get Poorer – Bloomberg View