Joblessness is ravaging the youth of Europe is reported by the digital edition of Business Week. The unemployment rate for people 29 and younger in the European Union is 19 percent, the highest in at least 10 years. In Spain, the figure is 42 percent. In Greece, it’s 49 percent. Undoubtedly, this figures show the desperate situation of European youth. Furthermore the situation is even worse than numbers suggest. Ken Roberts, a professor of sociology at the University of Liverpool, says that young people lucky enough to have jobs are more likely than older workers to be underemployed—floating in and out of low-paid, temporary, and part-time jobs.

  • “What’s new is the increase in the average duration of unemployment for young people”, says Ekkehard Ernst, the chief of the ILO Employment Trends Unit. That’s the “most worrying aspect” of the problem, he says, because “the longer people remain out of work, the more unemployable they become”. Ernst says the youth unemployment rate is likely to worsen until at least 2019 and also asserts that the crisis has accelerated a trend partly related to technological changes that are destroying entry-level, medium-skilled jobs ideally suited for people leaving school. The other big element is to improve the educational system in general and vocational training in particular. If this technological shift accelerates, as is to be expected, then young people need completely different skill sets to succeed in the labor market.
  • On the other hand, Sonja Bekker from Tilburg University claims that the main problem bases on the current labor market structure. The conditions are worsening: low-paid, temporary, and part-time jobs. That involves training to update skills.
  • Finally, this situation affects thousands of young people such as Jesús Solis 31-year-old. Graduated from the University of Madrid in 2012 and spent something like a year and a half looking for a job in the field of biomedical physics before I accepted a job as a real estate agent. Now I’m bringing some money home every month. At least this job has enabled me to acquire commercial skills. He measures that the government has taken to cut the budget deficit and reduce labor law protections have had a huge social cost: “An economy which offers no opportunities for physicists, which has no use for mathematical skills, can’t be sustainable in the long term.