Youth unemployment spreads

Nieuws | de redactie
21 mei 2012 | Unemployment among young people has climbed by 26.5% between 2008 and 2011, a new UN labor report states. Worldwide, 75 million aged 15-24 are without a job. What consequences does an emerging “lost generation” have for economy and society? What is the role of higher education?

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is set to publish areport indicating the emergence of a “lostgeneration” due to a massive increase in youth unemployment. In theEU and other industrialized countries, this number increased by26.5% between 2008 and 2011. For 2012, the share of young people(aged 15-24) without a job is expected to stagnate around anaverage of 18.0% in developed economies.

Especially in 2008-2009, unemployment rose sharply following thefinancial crisis. Worldwide, 75 million people aged 15-24 arewithout a job, 4 million more than in 2007. The report authorsforecast that it will take at least until 2016 before unemploymentdecreases to its pre-crisis level.

Austerity not the reason

Within the EU, Greece and Spain (51%) exhibit particularly highyouth unemployment. Marco Annunziata, economist from GeneralElectric, recently argued on ScienceGuide that this has little todo with austerity measures, but a failing education system.”Education systems are plagued by falling standards and a growingmisalignment with the demand for skills,” Annunziata stated.

What massive youth unemployment means for economy and society was explained bycross-border expert Vangelis Tsiligiris. He warned that theconsequences of the Eurocrisis and a potential exit of Greece fromthe Eurozone could lead to a permanent brain drain.

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