This chart highlights one of Europe's biggest problems

  • The eurozone’s youth unemployment remains high several years after the financial crisis even though the region’s overall unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate since February 2009.
  • Youth unemployment rates vary widely across European countries.
  • Greece, Spain, and Italy have the highest youth unemployment rates, but even countries like France and Finland have high rates.

High youth unemployment rates have been a problem across the world since the global financial crisis.

One region that had been hit particularly hard by this trend is Europe — both in developed and emerging parts of the continent, and eurozone youth unemployment remains stubbornly high in parts of the region years after the peak of the crisis.

While the eurozone’s overall unemployment rate came in at 8.9% for September 2017 — the lowest rate since February 2009 — the region’s youth unemployment for those aged 15-24 remains high at 18.7%, according to data from Eurostat.

“The eurozone’s youth unemployment rate remains worryingly high,” Jessica Hinds, European economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. “It is hardly reassuring that almost 20% of those who are ready to work are jobless.”

Youth unemployment rates vary widely across the Eurozone countries, which you can see in the chart below shared by Hinds. Greece, Spain, and Italy have the highest around 40%, while Germany and the Netherlands have the lowest around 7-11%.

But even countries like France and Finland have high youth unemployment, hovering at 22.5% and 20.5%, respectively. Across the region, youth unemployment rates are higher for those who have less education.

Many of those who are out of work have been out of work for some time. A quarter of Greece’ labour force aged 15-24 and one fifth of Italy’s had been unemployed for over a year in 2016, according to data cited by Hinds.

“The longer that somebody is unemployed, the more likely they are to become discouraged, miss out on opportunities to develop skills and drop out of the labour force,” she said.

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