The current, unprecedented level of global youth unemployment has raised the risk of creating ‘a lost generation’… [Y]oung people account for 40 percent or more of all unemployed people in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, and nearly 60 percent in Syria and Egypt.”
- Nemat Shafik, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
The world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis: young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults…”
The United Nations estimates that last year 74.8 million youth between the ages of 15 to 24 faced joblessness, with 6.4 million young people dropping out of the labor market in 2011 alone. The highest youth unemployment rates are in North Africa (27.1%) and the Middle East (26.2%)…
In the ostensibly prosperous Euro-area countries, over one-in-five young people (21.3%) cannot find a job. When this regionally-averaged figure is broken down to remove countries like Germany, the results are stark: In Spain and Greece, nearly half of all youth are without a job (48.7% and 47.2% …”
The Consequences Of Youth Unemployment
- Lower life expectancy: Unemployment more generally has been linked to lower life expectancy, a higher incidence of heart attacks later in life, and even higher rates of suicide.
- Higher crime rates: Increased unemployment has been linked to higher crime rates.
- Increased costs to the economy: Youth unemployment results in higher unemployment insurance and other benefit payments, lost income tax revenues, and wasted productive capacity.
- Lower lifetime earnings: Youth unemployment leaves a “wage scar” in the form of lower earnings that can last into middle age. The longer the period of unemployment, the bigger the effect.”
Is More Economic Growth The Answer?
Albert Einstein once said,
Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
Unfortunately, the current trend of solutions being proposed to tackle continued youth unemployment, and unemployment in general, has tended to steer towards further economic growth as the answer to the problem.
What do you think?
Is further economic growth the answer? Or is it from the level of thinking which has helped to create the global youth unemployment crisis?