Das Trugbild Jugendarbeitslosigkeit

PARIS – Die Ökonomen brauchen weltweit bessere Methoden, um die wirtschaftliche Aktivität zu messen. Da sie sich zur Bewertung der ökonomischen Gesundheit auf BIP-Wachstumsraten stützen, übersahen beinahe alle Ökonomen die Warnsignale der Finanzkrise des Jahres 2008,  einschließlich einer Immobilienblase im Ausmaß von 8 Billionen Dollar in den USA sowie Immobilienblasen in Spanien, Irland und Großbritannien. Gemeinsam mit privaten Haushalten, Finanzinstitutionen, Investoren und Regierungen ließen sich die Ökonomen in die Finanzeuphorie hineinziehen, die zu übermäßiger Risikobereitschaft und massiver Überschuldung von Banken und Haushalten führte. Sogar die makroökonomischen Ungleichgewichte der Eurozone blieben größtenteils unbemerkt.  

Auch die Schätzungen hinsichtlich der Arbeitslosigkeit sind bemerkenswert irreführend – ein ernsthaftes Problem angesichts der Tatsache, dass die Arbeitslosigkeit gemeinsam mit den BIP-Indikatoren einen so großen Teil der wirtschaftspolitischen Debatte beherrscht. Eine haarsträubend hohe Jugendarbeitslosigkeit – angeblich fast 50 Prozent in Spanien und Griechenland sowie über 20 Prozent in der gesamten Eurozone – macht jeden Tag Schlagzeilen. Allerdings resultieren diese Zahlen aus einer fehlerhaften Methodik, wodurch die Situation viel schlimmer erscheint als sie ist.

Das Problem hat seinen Ursprung in der Berechnung der Arbeitslosigkeit: Die Arbeitslosenrate bei Erwachsenen wird berechnet, indem man die Zahl der Arbeitslosen durch die Anzahl aller Arbeitskräfte dividiert. Wenn also die Zahl der Arbeitskräfte 200 beträgt und 20 Personen arbeitslos sind, liegt die Arbeitslosenrate bei 10 Prozent.  

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