Youth Unemployment in the EU
The Youth Unemployment is currently one of the biggest problems in the EU. 5,7 million of the people under the age of 25 who live in the EU-member states were unemployed at the end of 2012. This is more than 23% of all the young people who live in the EU (Spiegel, 2013). Especially young people who live in the southern countries of the European Union have no job. The highest youth unemployment rate has Greece with 58,40%, followed by Spain with 55,7%. These are the only countries in the EU where are more than the halves of the young people unemployed. They are followed by Portugal (38,2%) and Italy (27,8%) where are more than every third teenager has no job.
The EU-average is 23,50%. The countries with the three lowest youth unemployment rates are: Germany: 7,70%, Austria: 8,90% and the Netherlands: 10,40% (Statista, 2013).
Reasons for the Youth Unemployment
The reasons for the youth unemployment are very complex and the main reasons are different in every country. The main factors are the current crisis in the EURO-zone, the education and qualification of the young people and the discrepancy between offer and demand on the job markets. Moreover, young people with a migration background are disadvantaged. Not only poorly educated young people have bad opportunities to find a job in the moment. Even well-educated people have problems to find a job through the economic crisis (Caritas, 2013). Another reason for the high youth unemployment rate is that during the crisis more young people lost their job than older people. This is explainable through the fact, that it is easier to resign people which are shorter employed.
The objective of the Europe 2020-Strategy, which had been decided by the EU, is to increase the employment rate of the 20-64 year old people to 75%. Moreover, two education objectives have been decided. The first objective is to increase the rate of graduates to 40% and the second is to decrease early school leavers under the rate of 10%. The problem is that these objectives through the economic crisis are tough to reach. Early indicators confirm these problems. Therefore, the EU decided to start the initiative “Chances for young people”.
The initiative “Changes for young people” is divided in two different measures. The first measure is to introduce the “Youth-Guarantee”-System in the member states where the youth unemployment is higher than 20%. The system should guarantee that young people get a job or an apprenticeship at latest four months after they got unemployed. Requirements to take part in the system are that the person lives in a member states where the youth unemployment rate is higher than 20%, that the person is currently unemployment and in no apprenticeship. Finally decided was this measure at the 24th of April 2013 (European Parliament, 2013).
The second measure is the pilot project “Your first EURES job” that should support young people by searching for jobs within in the European Union. The first phase of this test is to improve the mobility above the borders for 5.000 young people. Therefore, four labour administrations were founded in Germany, Spain, Denmark and Italy that should support young people to find a job in another country. Moreover, the labour administrations encourage the young people with money for language courses, move and the journey to job interviews (Caritas, 2013).
Regarding the youth unemployment in Europe, you can find an interesting infographic under this article which was released by the European Parliament.
Written by Carl-Frederic Korn, Yvonne Kohaus and Hasan Can Acar
Caritas. (2013). Erschreckend viele Jugendliche in Europa sind arbeitslos. Available: http://www.caritas.de/neue-caritas/jahrbuch/leseprobe.aspx. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.
European Parliament. (2013). Employment MEPs approve plans to help more young people to work or training. Available: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/content/20130419STO07453/html/Employment-MEPs-approve-plans-to-help-more-young-people-to-work-or-training. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.
Spiegel. (2013). Hohe Arbeitslosigkeit: EU beschließt Jobgarantie für Jugendliche. Available: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/eu-beschliesst-jobgarantie-fuer-jugendliche-a-886163.html. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.
Statista. (2013). Youth Unemployment in the EU Feb 2013. Available: http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/74795/umfrage/jugendarbeitslosigkeit-in-europa/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.