Youth Unemployment

March 6, 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 5
Are high youth jobless rates creating a “lost” generation?
By Reed Karaim


Demonstrators complaining about the economic crisis and youth unemployment in Spain (AFP/Getty Images/Josep Lago)
Demonstrators complaining about the economic crisis and youth unemployment in Spain — where youth joblessness is over 50 percent — react as police try to remove them from a square in Barcelona on May 27, 2011. With youth joblessness stuck at staggering levels in many countries, finding work for an ever-growing number of unemployed youths has become a pressing global issue. (AFP/Getty Images/Josep Lago)

Across the globe, the economic crisis has led to soaring youth unemployment — above 50 percent in Spain, nearly that high in Greece and above 30 percent in many other countries. The crisis also has exacerbated already-high levels of youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa, where frustrated, unemployed college graduates were at the forefront of last year's Arab Spring revolutions. Angry, jobless youths have taken to the streets in other countries, as well, including the U.K. Countries are grappling with the problem, but solutions remain elusive. Youth unemployment is seen both as a matter of demographics — disproportionately higher numbers of young people in many countries — and structural problems in labor markets, such as laws protecting older workers' jobs. Many observers believe if the issue isn't addressed, further upheavals will occur, while others worry that the world could be facing a “lost generation” of discouraged workers whose earnings will be diminished for decades.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mar. 06, 2020  Universal Basic Income
Mar. 18, 2016  The Gig Economy
Mar. 06, 2012  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 31, 2009  Straining the Safety Net
Apr. 10, 2009  Business Bankruptcy
Mar. 13, 2009  Vanishing Jobs
Apr. 25, 2003  Unemployment Benefits
Jan. 21, 1994  Worker Retraining
Sep. 09, 1988  Help Wanted: Why Jobs Are Hard to Fill
Mar. 18, 1983  The Youth Unemployment Puzzle
Dec. 24, 1982  Federal Jobs Programs
May 28, 1982  America's Employment Outlook
Jun. 27, 1980  Unemployment Compensation
Oct. 14, 1977  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 11, 1975  Underemployment in America
Dec. 16, 1970  Unemployment in Recessions
Mar. 05, 1965  Unemployment Benefits in Times of Prosperity
Apr. 03, 1964  Overtime Pay Rates and Unemployment
Feb. 01, 1961  Unemployment and New Jobs
Jan. 07, 1959  Lag in Employment
Apr. 16, 1958  Emergency Jobless Aid
May 16, 1956  Lay-Off Pay Plans
Nov. 12, 1953  Jobless Compensation in Boom and Recession
Feb. 25, 1949  Defenses Against Unemployment
Jul. 30, 1945  Full Employment
Nov. 25, 1940  Unemployment Compensation
Jul. 10, 1939  Problem of the Migrant Unemployed
May 19, 1936  Unemployment and Recovery
Sep. 02, 1931  Public Employment Exchanges
Aug. 19, 1929  The Stabilization of Employment
Feb. 21, 1928  The Employment Situation in the United States
Jan. 23, 1926  Unemployment Insurance in the United States
Outsourcing and Immigration