El supuesto problema del desempleo juvenil en Europa

BRUSELAS – Las autoridades europeas encargadas de la formulación de políticas decidieron que se debe ver que ellos están “haciendo algo” acerca del desempleo juvenil. Se ha convocado a una cumbre extraordinaria de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la Unión Europea; además, una “Iniciativa para el empleo juvenil” (“Youth Employment Initiative,”), propuesta en la reunión del Consejo de Ministros de la Unión Europea en febrero de este año, tiene como objetivo “reforzar y acelerar” las medidas que se recomendaron en un “Paquete de empleo juvenil” (“Youth Employment Package”) en diciembre de 2012.

Este activismo surge principalmente en respuesta a las recientes y alarmantes cifras sobre el desempleo juvenil en el sur de Europa, que muestran una altísima tasa de desempleo, misma que es ampliamente considerada como políticamente inaceptable. Sin embargo, hay varias razones para dudar de que el desempleo juvenil sea un problema aislado que merece un tratamiento especial. De hecho, las estadísticas oficiales de desempleo juvenil son engañosas por dos razones.

En primer lugar, los datos se refieren a aquellos que se encuentran en el rango de 15 a 24 años de edad. Pero este rango de edad se compone de dos subgrupos con características muy diferentes. Los "adolescentes" (15-19 años de edad) quienes deberían en su mayoría estar aún en la escuela; y si no lo están, es probable que estén muy poco cualificados – y por lo tanto tengan dificultades para encontrar un trabajo a tiempo completo, incluso durante buenos tiempos. Afortunadamente, este grupo es bastante pequeño (y con el tiempo ha estado disminuyendo de tamaño).

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