Se buscan empleos europeos

BERLÍN – Cuando en 1997 la Unión Europea celebró su primera cumbre sobre crecimiento y empleo, el desempleo en toda la UE era de un 11%. En el otoño pasado, cuando se realizó otra, no parecía que se hubiera avanzado demasiado desde entonces: la cifra era esta vez de un 11,5%, tras haber llegado a ser un 6,8% en el primer trimestre de 2008.

Para que la UE cumpla su promesa de paz y prosperidad, será necesario que encuentre maneras de crear oportunidades para un mayor número de sus ciudadanos. El desempleo juvenil es un problema especialmente preocupante, incluso en países donde las estadísticas de empleo son positivas en otros aspectos, mientras que en aquellos donde las condiciones del mercado laboral son peores representa una potencial fuente de inestabilidad social y política.

La participación en la fuerza laboral se vincula no solamente con los niveles de ingresos, sino también con la autoestima, la inclusión social y el estatus social. Quedar fuera del mercado laboral aumenta el riesgo de caer en la pobreza y sufrir peor salud, y mientras más dure el desempleo, más dañinos serán los efectos. Los jóvenes que carecen de empleo tienen menos oportunidades en etapas posteriores de sus vidas, lo que representa un derroche de formación y habilidades que conlleva efectos perjudiciales para las economías de sus respectivos países.

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