Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States

The issue of youth unemployment has been one of the most pressing problems in many countries today. Most countries experiencing this problem are among those countries whose labor markets have substantially dropped since 2008, from the worldwide problem of the financial markets. The problem of youth unemployment in industrialized countries was first felt in the 1980s. In the beginning of this century, the labor markets were flourishing; however, youth unemployment still existed. This problem has heightened tremendously from the effect of the existing recession. In the European Union, the issue of youth unemployment has risen from 14.7% in 2008 to above 20% in the year 2010. Countries leading in youth unemployment are Lithuania with more than 26.1% and Latvia with over 23.2%. It is surprising to note that most of the countries that are leading in the issue of unemployment have experienced an extreme decline in the prices of the houses. The number of youths working in construction companies declined considerably affecting the labor markets for the youths. The rates of youth unemployment in Germany dropped from 10.2% in the year 2008 to 8.8% in 2010.

The GDP of the European Union changed in the first quarter of the year 2008 up to a third quarter of the year 2009. During this period, the effect of recession was seriously felt on the youth labor markets. The total output in the European Union entirely dropped by a margin of 4.6%, while, in the United States, this output dropped by 3.8%. The recovery has been minimal in European Union as compared to the United States. When it comes to the decline proportionality of the GDP recovered between the year 2010 and 2008, the output of the European Union remained less by 3%. Rapid growth was experienced in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Western Europe. However, this was not the case in Ireland, France, Spain, and Italy, where the growth was considerably weak. There has not been any uniformity in the existing relationship between output differences and employment changes across the countries. Spain and the United States have experienced an output drop of almost 4% in the recession period. This resulted to drop in employment of around 8% in the United States, as well as 9.4% in Spain. The United Kingdom’s output fell by around 6.2% while its employment rate fell by only 1.7%. The contrast keeps getting popular with Sweden its output was evidenced to have fallen by 6.9% but surprisingly, the employment scale rose between the years 2008 and 2010. The entire European Union had an average drop of employment by 1.3% during the recession period, which comprised of a decline of full-time employment by 2.5% and a considerable increase of part-time employment by 4.2%.

In the United States, the drop in full-time employment was around 7.9% and an increment in part-time employment of 10.1%. Another effect of recesses is that since most youths do the part-time employment, there has been the problem concerning the number of hours that they are willing to work. This problem has been brought about by the unwilling nature of employers to cater for long hours. Though it may appear as a problem when it comes to working for fewer hours, it may occur as a strategy for both employees and employers who are unwilling to waste human capital that they might have collectively accumulated. The youths do not have the required specific human capital. This has hugely contributed to the issue of unemployment facing the youths. It is a fact that the youth’s labor market is extremely volatile, and this has been witnessed where the unemployment rate for the youths increases tremendously once the firms ceases from hiring. If a firm is inclined to cut on the workforce using the method of last-in first-out (LIFO) in trying to know the redundant employees, many at times, the youths will always fall victims of being fired. Recession has been a significant drawback as far as the making of successful changes from institutions to work for the youths is concerned. Studies have clearly shown that the rate of youth unemployment is always high, be it in comparison between the youth and the adults or the youth versus all ages. The ratios that existed between the youths and the adult in the year 2008 rose, but as the recession crept in the national rates of unemployment rose considerably. It has been observed that the issues of unemployment as far as youths are concerned, have gradually stabilized due to the fact most governments have erected policies that support the youths.

One of the remedies to the increasing rate of unemployment among the youths has been resuming the full-time education. This means that the 16-24 are currently more skilled than they could have been in the previous recession. 5.8% of the United Kingdom’s youth of ages raging from 16-24 were graduates in the year 1993, while, on the other hand, this has risen to 13.2% in the year 2008. It is intriguing to note that most of the qualified youths are females. The countries where youth employment rose tremendously were; Romania, Austria, Sweden, and Finland.

In conclusion, the issue of youth unemployment is rapid across the world. The problem is being exaggerated by the recession. It is evident that there is the issue of employers’ unwillingness to cater for the longer hours that the youth are willing to work. If a firm is inclined to cut on the workforce using the method of last-in first-out (LIFO) in trying to know the redundant employees, the youths end up being fired.

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