Europas Jugendarbeitslosigkeit ist nicht das Problem

BRÜSSEL – Europäische Entscheidungsträger haben beschlossen, dass man sehen soll, wie sie gegen die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit „etwas unternehmen“. Ein Sondergipfel der europäischen Staats- und Regierungschefs wurde einberufen, und eine bei der Tagung des Europäischen Rates im Februar angeregte „Beschäftigungsinitiative für junge Menschen“ soll Maßnahmen „ausbauen und beschleunigen“, die im Rahmen des „Jugendbeschäftigungspaketes“ vom Dezember 2012 empfohlen wurden.

Dieser Aktivismus ist vor allem eine Reaktion auf die jüngsten besorgniserregenden Zahlen über Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in Südeuropa, wo die Arbeitslosenquote schwindelerregende Höhen erreicht, die weithin als politisch inakzeptabel gelten. Es gibt jedoch mehrere Gründe daran zu zweifeln, dass Jugendarbeitslosigkeit ein für sich allein stehendes Problem ist, das besondere Behandlung verdient. Tatsächlich sind offizielle Statistiken zur Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in zweierlei Hinsicht irreführend.

Erstens beziehen sich die Daten auf Menschen im Alter zwischen 15 und 24 Jahren. Diese Altersgruppe besteht jedoch aus zwei Untergruppen mit sehr unterschiedlichen Profilen. Von den „Teenagern“ (15- bis 19-Jährige) dürften die meisten noch zur Schule gehen; wenn nicht, sind sie wahrscheinlich gering qualifiziert – und dürften somit auch in guten Zeiten Schwierigkeiten haben, eine Vollzeitstelle zu finden. Diese Gruppe ist glücklicherweise relativ klein (und im Lauf der Jahre kleiner geworden).

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