Dept. of Depression: Youth Unemployment

The editorial board has given me a new task: end, come up with some depressing news. Now that’s a job for me. Yup, I’m on it. Here we go.

Recently I’ve been reviewing research that paints a picture of the Millennials that is, erm, not so nice. Someone cleverly commented that yes, Gen Y is Gen X “with self-esteem on steroids.” (thanks, Emilia). But let’s be fair here: Gen Y needs self-esteem. In spades. Not so much in Northern Europe, but in the South and East.* So if you’re unbearably self-confident right now, take a look at these youth unemployment figures. Data provided by Eurostat, but selected by me.

Youth Unemployment

Go here to check. It’s a somewhat arbitrary selection, but it includes the three largest national economies, plus Sweden, plus some interesting cases.You get the picture: 55.7% in Spain, 59.2% in Greece, 25.2% in France, 23.3% overall. Sweden, erm, not so nice either.

Some de-depressing in order here. You can’t compare countries directly since much depends on the education systems; some are probably downright designed to obscure youth unemployment. And it’s important to understand precisely what the numbers mean. 25% youth unemployment rate (not ratio) in a country does not mean that 1 out of 4 youngsters are out of a job. Many young people are not on the labour market because they are in education, some are in education and employed (that’s you, I guess); but yet again others are in education and unemployed. Here is a pretty good explanation by Eurostat:

But figures in the fifties…?


*) Ah, yes, and you gotta save the planet. Since we’re not gonna do it.

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