Generation Rent – the problems facing European youth

Having recently returned from giving a ‘Trends for 2013+’ speech in Athens, I’ve seen the impact it’s having on Greek society; reflected in the rise of extremist political parties of the far right and far left. (Checkout my last batch of shots on Tumblr & Flickr for examples – I’ll be putting new ones asap). Since then I’ve conducted research in Scandinavia and in Germany, France & Holland; and alongside my UK work into ‘Generation Rent’ have a clear understanding of the problems facing Europe’s ‘Lost Generation’. Anyway, here’s a great piece by David Carter which you can checkout via The Times site:

Unemployment in the eurozone reached a record high yesterday with 18.7 million people out of work and more than a quarter of young people looking for a job.

The recession, which returned in the third quarter, pushed unemployment in the region to 11.7 per cent in October — the highest since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

The rise from 11.6 per cent in September was anticipated, but it came as the equivalent rate in the United States fell to 7.9 per cent. Eurostat recorded a rise in unemployment of 173,000 on the previous month and said that the rate was 2.2 million higher than a year ago.

The jobless rate in the 27-nation European Union was 10.7 per cent, a rise of 0.1 of a percentage point, with 25.9 million people out of work.
“The level of unemployment in Europe remains unacceptably high,” Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, said. He called for high unemployment areas to adopt a new EU scheme being introduced next week that will offer a job, training or further education to all school leavers within four months.

“This would extend to the whole of the EU existing good practice that exists in, for example, Austria, Finland and Sweden,” Mr Todd said.
The worst unemployment rates were recorded in Spain, at 26.2 per cent, and Greece, at 25.4 per cent. These nations also had the worst levels of unemployment among those aged under 25 — 57 per cent in Greece and 55.9 per cent in Spain. Standing in contrast were Austria, where the jobless rate fell to 4.3 per cent from 4.4 per cent in September, Luxembourg (5.1 per cent), Germany (5.4 per cent) and the Netherlands (5.5 per cent). Young people were six times more likely to be in work in Germany or Austria than in Greece or Spain.

“Talk of a ‘lost generation’ of young people now looks like an alarming possibility,” Andrea Broughton, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, said. “There seems to be little prospect of either youth unemployment or overall unemployment levels coming down in the foreseeable future.” She added that a north-south split was opening up across Europe.

Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank President, said in Paris yesterday that he expected the recovery to start only in the second half of next year.
Inflation remains above the ECB’s target of keeping price rises at just below 2 per cent. Few economists believe that the ECB will cut its main interest rate from its record low of 0.75 per cent at its monthly policy meeting on Thursday.

Marie Diron, a senior economic adviser at Ernst & Young, forecast that eurozone unemployment would rise next year and peak at just under 20 million in the last quarter. She said that by then companies that have become leaner and fitter could start hiring again. “But before we reach that stage, there is unfortunately more pain to go through,” Ms Diron said.

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