A Guide To The Horrible Youth Unemployment Mess In Europe

french youth protesting

Photo: AP Images

Earlier today, we learned that Greece’s unemployment surged to 20.9 per cent.  However, the youth unemployment rate spiked to 48 per cent.In fact, a colossal 5.493 million youth were unemployed in December, according to latest data from Eurostat. And the EU saw its overall youth unemployment rate at 22.1 per cent.

The European crisis has obviously hit the under-25 age group hard, since 3.29 million of these youth are in the euro area.

We drew on the latest data from Eurostat to give a sense of Europe’s massive unemployment problem. 16 countries on this list have a youth unemployment rate higher than the EU 27-country average.

Germany

Youth unemployment:
7.8%

Overall unemployment:
5.5%

Youth unemployment is down from 9.1 per cent in December 2010. Germany and France are working on new measures to cut youth unemployment, and revive economic growth in Europe.

Source: Eurostat

Austria

Youth unemployment:
8.2%

Overall unemployment:
4.1%

Austria's youth unemployment is much lower than the EU average of 22.1 per cent. Unemployment in the under-25 age group is twice the national average, and unemployment is higher among females than males.

Source: Eurostat

Netherlands

Youth unemployment:
8.6%

Overall unemployment:
4.9%

Netherlands' youth unemployment rate of 8.6 per cent is far below the EU average, but is marginally higher than it was in December 2010. Meanwhile the male and female unemployment rates are both at 4.9 per cent.

Source: Eurostat

Malta

Youth unemployment:
14.2%

Overall unemployment:
6.5%

While Malta's overall unemployment rate is marginally lower in December 2011, compared to a year ago, its youth unemployment rate is up from 13.6 per cent in December 2010. The female unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent is higher than the 6.2 per cent rate among males.

Source: Eurostat

Luxembourg

Youth unemployment:
15.2%

Overall unemployment:
5.2%

Luxembourg's overall unemployment rate climbed in December, from the previous month, and was up on a year-over-year basis as well. Luxembourg has a male unemployment rate of 4 per cent, which is lower than the 6.6 per cent rate for females.

Source: Eurostat

Denmark

Youth unemployment:
14.7%

Overall unemployment:
7.8%

Denmark's youth unemployment rate is down from 15.0 per cent in November 2011, but up from 13.6 per cent in December 2010.

Source: Eurostat

Slovenia

Youth unemployment:
15.2%

Overall unemployment:
8.2%

Unemployment in Slovenia has ticked higher, with the jobless rate rising from 8 per cent in December 2010. Slovenia has witnessed 'in-work poverty' with a rise in temporary job contracts which largely target the youth.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Slovenia reports youth unemployment on a quarterly basis.

Czech Republic

Youth unemployment:
19.5%

Overall unemployment:
6.8%

The Czech Republic's youth unemployment rate is up from 17.1 per cent in December 2010, and is close to the EU average of 22.1 per cent. Unemployment among males increased from 5.9 per cent in November, to 6.1 per cent in December, but is lower than year ago figures.

Source: Eurostat

Finland

Youth unemployment:
19.9%

Overall unemployment:
7.6%

Finland which has been noted for its successful schools has a stubbornly high youth unemployment rate, which is down from 20.7 per cent in December 2010, but close to the EU average of 22.1 per cent. Unemployment among females is at 6.6 per cent, and is lower than the 8.4 per cent rate among males.

Finland's youth unemployment rate is being driven up in towns that are largely dependent on one industry for jobs.

Source: Eurostat

Belgium

Youth unemployment:
20.7%

Overall unemployment:
7.2%

Belgium has posted double-digit youth unemployment since 2002. close to EU average of 22.1 per cent. The jobless rate among the under-25 age group, is nearly three times the overall unemployment rate.

Source: Eurostat

Estonia

Youth unemployment:
21.8%

Overall unemployment:
11.3%

Estonia's youth unemployment rate has fallen from 25.7 per cent in November 2010, and is now below the EU average. The high unemployment rate among the under-25 demographic has been attributed to larger number of young people looking for jobs than before.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Youth unemployment data is for Q3 2011, and overall unemployment rate is for September 2011.

United Kingdom

Youth unemployment:
22.3%

Overall unemployment:
8.4%

UK youth unemployment has ticked higher, and youth that aren't employed, in training, or studying, cost UK citizens €16 billion on average, or 0.9 per cent of GDP.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Data is for October 2011

Sweden

Youth unemployment:
22.9%

Overall unemployment:
7.5%

Sweden's youth unemployment rate is higher than the EU average. Like Slovenia, Sweden has also seen an increase in 'in-work poverty', with a rise in temporary job contracts which largely target the youth. Sweden reported a male unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent and a female unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent for December 2011.

Source: Eurostat

Romania

Youth unemployment:
23.4%

Overall unemployment:
7.0%

Romania' overall unemployment eased from 7.3 per cent in November 2011. Youth that aren't employed, in training, or studying, cost the country €1.2 billion on average every year.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Romania reports youth unemployment on a quarterly basis.

France

Youth unemployment:
23.8%

Overall unemployment:
9.8%

France's youth unemployment rate has increased from 23% in November 2010. The country has a high overall unemployment rate of 9.8 per cent in line with the EU average. France and Germany have been in talks to introduce new measures aimed at cutting youth unemployment.

Source: Eurostat

Cyprus

Youth unemployment:
25.8%

Overall unemployment:
9.3%

Youth unemployment in Cyprus has jumped from 15.3 per cent in December 2010. The jobless rate among the under-25 demographic is higher than the average EU youth unemployment rate.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Cyprus reports youth unemployment on a quarterly basis.

Hungary

Youth unemployment:
26.7%

Overall unemployment:
10.9%

Hungary's youth unemployment is up from the 26 per cent rate in November 2011, and the 25.7 per cent rate reported in December 2010. The Hungarian government passed a plan that would no longer give benefits to people who are capable of working, and would instead employ them in community service jobs.

Source: Eurostat

Bulgaria

Youth unemployment:
26.8%

Overall unemployment:
11.2%

Bulgaria's youth unemployment is up from 26 per cent in December 2010. The December 2011 male unemployment rate of 12.3 per cent is higher than the female unemployment rate of 10.1 per cent.

Source: Eurostat

Poland

Youth unemployment:
27.7%

Overall unemployment:
9.9%

Poland's unemployment rate has surged from 24.3 per cent in December 2010, but has dropped significantly in the last decade. Low investment and a surge in people returning to the country after living and working abroad, is driving up the jobless rate.

Source: Eurostat

Ireland

Youth unemployment:
29.0%

Overall unemployment:
14.5%

Hit by austerity, Ireland's youth unemployment rate is much higher than the EU average of 22.1 per cent, and youth unemployment has created an emigration crisis in the country. The 17.3 per cent unemployment rate among males is much higher than the 11.1 per cent rate among females.

Source: Eurostat

Latvia

Youth unemployment:
30.0%

Overall unemployment:
14.8%

Latvia's youth unemployment rate has eased from 30.8 per cent in December 2010. Youth that aren't employed, in training, or studying, shave 1.4 per cent off the country's GDP each year.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Latvia reports all unemployment data on a quarterly basis.

Italy

Youth unemployment:
31.0%

Overall unemployment:
8.9%

Italy's public debt and austerity measures are stunting job growth in the public sector. Youth unemployment has increased from 28.1 per cent in December 2010, moreover, 20 per cent of Italians between the ages of 15 - 29 are no longer seeking higher education. Italian youth that aren't employed, in training, or studying, cost the country €26.6 billion every year.

Source: Eurostat

Portugal

Youth unemployment:
30.8%

Overall unemployment:
13.6%

Portugal's youth unemployment rate ticked up from 26.9 per cent in November 2010. The overall unemployment rate of 13.6 per cent is being driven up austerity measures and lack of investment and economic growth. A fifth of the country's graduates have emigrated.

Source: Eurostat

Lithuania

Youth unemployment:
31.0%

Overall unemployment:
15.3%

Lithuania's youth unemployment rate has eased from 33.9 per cent in December 2010. The 17.5 per cent unemployment rate among males, is higher than the 13.1 per cent rate among females.

Source: Eurostat

Note: Lithuania reports all unemployment data on a quarterly basis.

Slovakia

Youth unemployment:
35.6%

Overall unemployment:
13.4%

Slovakia's youth unemployment rate has increased from 33.2 per cent in December 2010. The country needs to drive job growth, especially in the service sector, and cut the population's dependence on social subsistence if it wants to rein in youth unemployment.

Source: Eurostat

Greece

Youth unemployment:
48.0%

Overall unemployment:
20.9%

Greece has taken on punishing austerity measures to avoid default, and cuts in public spending have seen unemployment surge. The jobless rate among Greek youth has jumped from 37.2 per cent in December 2010.

Source: Helenic Statistical Authority / Eurostat


Spain

Youth unemployment:
48.7%

Overall unemployment:
22.9%

Spain has the highest youth unemployment in Europe and the jobless rate among the under-25 age group has surged from 43.5 per cent in December 2010. The country could lose a generation to emigration which is sure to have a devastating long-term implications for the economy.

Source: Eurostat

But just how much is youth unemployment hurting Europe?

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