Flexible Employment is Key
GLATTBRUG, SWITZERLAND – Rising youth unemployment, especially in Europe, is making headlines worldwide. Roughly 5.5 million Europeans under the age of 25 are unemployed. More than 7.5 million people aged 15-24 are “NEETs” – not in employment, education, or training. The youth unemployment rate exceeds 25% in 13 European countries, amounting to roughly 30% in Italy, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, and Slovakia, and surpassing 55% in Greece and Spain.
Furthermore, more than 30% of jobseekers under 25 have been unemployed for more than 12 months, and their chances of finding employment remain low. Less than one-third of young people who were unemployed in 2010 found a job in 2011, and their chances continue to decline.
According to a recent report by Eurofound, the economic cost (benefits paid plus tax-revenue lost) of young NEETs exceeds €150 billion ($196 billion) annually – more than 1.2% of the European Union’s total GDP. In some countries – such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, and Poland – youth unemployment costs more than 2% of GDP.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in