Europe's Youth Unemployment Nightmare In 18 Charts

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Photo: AP Photo/Christian Lutz

Concerns are starting to re-emerge in the euro zone.Yesterday’s fourth-quarter GDP results were worse than expected, confirming fears that the pace of contraction in the euro-zone economy is accelerating.

These disappointing growth figures are tied directly to the biggest problem that the eurozone now must face – staggering levels of youth unemployment across the region.

Governments on the euro periphery – which desperately need to institute difficult economic reforms to put budgets on sustainable paths – receive little support from a younger generation that feels like its opportunities and its future have been crushed already by the very same actors.

Societe Generale cross-asset strategists highlighted youth unemployment and the danger it poses to the eurozone in a recent note, writing, “Economic crisis in developed countries have reinforced unemployment, especially with the youth…With lower population support, large upheavals could threaten government stability.

In Spain, the epicentre of Europe's youth unemployment crisis, the rate has soared to 55.6%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Spain is second only to Greece, where 57.6% of those under 25 are unemployed

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Italy, the largest and most important economy in the euro periphery, has seen a relentless surge to 36.6% youth unemployment

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Portugal's youth unemployment rate has followed a similar pattern but edged down slightly in December to 38.3%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Ireland's youth unemployment rate has rolled over slightly in recent months but still stands near historic highs at 30.2%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

In the Netherlands, youth unemployment is near its highest rate since the inception of the euro, at 10.0%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

And Luxembourg's youth unemployment rate is at its highest level since joining the euro, at 18.8%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Cyprus joined the euro in 2008, near the onset of the crisis, and now, 28.5% of those under 25 are unemployed

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Malta, another late-comer to the eurozone, is now suffering a youth unemployment rate of 15.7%, down from November's record-high since joining the union

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

The same goes for Slovenia, with youth unemployment at 26.9%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Slovakia's youth unemployment rate recently leveled out slightly before jumping to 35.9%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

However, Estonia, the newest member of the eurozone, is experiencing a drop in youth unemployment, and the current rate stands at 19.5%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Austria enjoys one of the lowest levels of youth unemployment in the eurozone, but the rate has creeped higher recently to 8.5%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Belgium is far from the peak youth unemployment levels sustained during the crisis, but the rate recently bounced higher and currently tops 20.0%

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Finland is making slow and steady progress on bringing down youth unemployment, but has a long way to go from its current 18.9% rate

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Finally, there is Germany, which doesn't really have a youth unemployment problem – only 8.0% of those under 25 are jobless

Note: Shaded red area represents period of eurozone membership.

Here is a look at the entire picture, with youth unemployment plotted along the x-axis

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