The Statistical Office of European Commission (Eurostat) gives an insight view into latest data concerning the unemployment of young people in Europe. In February 2010, the youth unemployment rate (unemployed persons from 15 to 24 years) added up to 20,0% in the Euro area and 20,6% in the EU27, which started to increase since the start of the economic and financial crisis. Comparing the numbers with the data of March 2009, amounting to 19,0% and 18,9% respectively, it becomes obvious that the numbers increased by approximately 1 to 2 %. According to the numbers of February 2010, the lowest rate of unemployment within the young generation was observed in the Netherlands (7,3%), while the highest rate was found in Spain (40,7%). As a result, young workers are one of the main victims of the economic downturn.
Recently, the rate diminished by a boom in short-term temporary contract work amounting to approximately six million young people. Although it is an advantage for employers since they are not required to offer expensive benefits, these jobs created a generation of young people hardly employed without any benefits, severance pay or guarantee. Other possible side effects of youth unemployment are the lacking experience, qualifications, and self-belief to provide for themselves and their potential young families. Moreover, social effects, such as exclusion, depression, poorer health and higher incidences of crime can follow.
It is astonishing that not only teenagers or dropouts, but also people with college and graduate degrees are struggling to find a job.
In order to soothe the problem of the unemployment rate and short-term contracts, the European Union is thinking about launching a microcredit line, which is worth 100 million Euros. The goal is to help young people as well as long-term unemployed persons who are not able to receive a loan in order to start a business. Besides the aid of the EU, individual member states have launched their own programs to lower or even dismiss the youth unemployment rate. However, youth employment challenge depends on an integrated and coherent approach which combines not only the macro- but also the microeconomic intervention and which addresses both, labour demand and supply as well as quantity and quality of employment. It is important to face this problem in all relevant social, employment and economic policies through a well-balanced policy mix.
If the governments of the European Union or other interventions fail to soothe the problem right away, it is a question of time until the boom reverses itself, due to a precipitous drop in the young population in most countries by 2015, as it can be seen in the table below:
Title: Change in unemployment rate of young generation
In a few years I will enter in labour market and I truly hope that until that time the youth employment situation will improve and so future for the young people will be brighter.