The financial crisis of 2007 has affected many countries and all age groups : young and old people. But it is true that youth unemployment rate is increasing in many countries since several years.
For instance, in 2009, the rate of youth unemployment was 18% in Argentina, and 8,8% in USA. In 2010, this rate was 25% in France and 39% in Spain.Of course the situation is different according to the countries : 7% in Netherlands in 2009, or 10% in Germany in 2010.
The high numbers of youth unemployment can be alarmist, but first we have to explain how is calculated the youth unemployment rate. Indeed, the rate in France (25%) doesn’t mean that one quarter of young people is unemployed. Here we take into account the youth who are “actives” and who are looking for a job. So the one quarter who are unemployed doesn’t represent 25% of all the young people in a population.
Between 15 and 24 years, most part of young people are studying. Therefore, the youth in high school or persons who are studying are not considering like actives.
So we need to take a look at the adult unemployment rate and the ratio of youth unemployment rate. For example, for USA, these rates are equal to 8,8% and 2,3%, for UK: 6,5% and 3,3%, France : 7,5% and 3% in 2009. (sources : KLM).
Even if many young people are studying, lots of them have a job : it can be just a summer job or a paid activity during their studies.
For the young people who are unemployed, most part of them left early the educational system with a low qualification. But even if the degree appears like a good protection against the unemployment, the situation is now different, and even more since the financial crisis, and it’s more and more complicated for the youth to find a job. Moreover, there may be sometimes an imbalance in the employment : people more qualified accept jobs occupied normally ( not in a crisis period) by people less qualified. And so it is also difficult for people less qualified to find a job.
So we can see that the situation is still “critical” for the youth. They are worried about theirs futures and it seems it will be more difficult for them to find a job than before.
Main sources :