Olympic Flame at Olympia -Telegraph

Youth Unemployment Time Bomb

A Scary Thing…

The mounting unemployment amongst the young people in Gen Y, the Millennial Generation, is a very scary thing. I am not talking about countries in Africa or some other third world developing countries. I am talking about the  unemployment rate amongst European youths in the EU27 countries, aged within the 16 to 24 years age group which has worsened to 23.5% in the first quarter of 2013. It was 22.9% for the whole of 2012. 

Greece – Not An Olympic Gold…

I do not have a crystal ball to see the dire consequences nor solutions to see a much-improved world. I am numbed by the staggering unemployment rates. How else can you describe the 50+ per cent youth unemployment rate in Greece, the cradle of western civilization and democracy, and Spain? Germany has the lowest rate (7.6) and is followed by Austria (8.7). 

Youth Unemployment Data…

Q1 2013 Youth Unemployment

Q1 2013 Youth Unemployment

And in descending order, the countries with : 

1. greater-than-30 per cent youth unemployment rate are Portugal (38.2), Italy (36.9), Slovakia, Cyprus and Ireland (30.5). 

2. between 20 to 30 per cent youth unemployment rate are Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, France (26.3), Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia,     Sweden (24.4), Belgium (22.2), Romania and the United Kingdom (20.6).

3. between 10 to 20 per cent youth unemployment rate are Finland (19.9), Estonia, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Denmark (14.8), Malta, Netherlands (10.4).

Not A Question Of Statistics…

These statistics are drawn from Eurostat, a directorate of the European Union, and like any statistical method, are subject to interpretations and criticisms. They are estimates and the methodology excludes those youths who are attending colleges and vocational training are excluded from the labour force. Whatever methodology used, the unemployment rates are still shocking. The worrisome thing is, years can pass by and governments can find no solution. Case in point : Spain where its youth unemployment rate has been high since its economy went south from the mid 1990s! Likewise, Greece is in the same boat. 

Adaptabilty, The Key To Survival…

For the millions of affected youths, not only in the EU, but around the world, the global youth unemployment trend is dismal.   they may have to endure scars arising from loss of self esteem, confidence, sense of self worth and rising anger with the world. Our recent history in the 20th century has shown that high unemployment was a cause in the rise of nazi Germany and other traumatic upheavals. Will the EU survive this crisis and avoid the heavy cost of a possible lost generation? How may I end in a positive note? Let’s work on our human ingenuity and remember what Charles Darwin said – it’s not the toughest who survive, but the most adaptable.