With large parts of the Eurozone still in crisis, one of the major consequences of the recessionary climate, which has afflicted many member states is the high numbers of people currently out of work. In some countries, more than one in four people under the age of 25 are not in any kind of employment, making youth joblessness a hot topic which needs to be resolved quickly.
At the start of July, Eurozone-wide employment figures were released for each member state, and the stats make for rather grim reading. In France, for example, 26% of young people are out of work, while that figure is over 40% in deeply-troubled Spain. As a result of joblessness among European youth, governments have proposed tackling it head-on.
“Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, it was noted by the body that employment fell by one per cent in the euro area and by 0.4 per cent in the EU27 in the first quarter of the year" â€¨a spokesperson from City index revealed showing an employment drop in the euro area and continued: “Some 221.9 million men and women were employed in the EU27 between January and March 2013, of which it is estimated by Eurostat that 145.1 million were in the euro area.”
Too little, too late?
For the Eurozone as a whole, the European Union has proposed a $6bn plan to help tackle youth employment towards the end of last month. Agreed by EU leaders, the money will be diverted to areas within the union where youth unemployment is in excess of 25% – this will probably include several regions of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, where it has become a chronic problem.
Another attempt to try and improve this growing problem across the region comes from the European Investment Bank. They will borrow on the markets in order to try and boost lending to small business who hire people who leave school at the ages of 16-18. They hope to bypass the credit crunch by doing this, but should something have been done a little earlier?
Unemployment as a whole has been a big problem ever since the downturn which afflicted large parts of the Eurozone first started to take hold towards the end of the last decade. As a result, millions of Eurozone workers lost their jobs and opportunities became scarce for school and university leavers, something which has persisted for the best part of five or six years.
Solutions by nation
As far as individual nations are concerned, some are making more of an effort to combat youth unemployment than others, with France seemingly leading the way. President Francois Hollande announced that a new programme would see 100,000 young people employed in state-subsidised jobs, rising to 150,000 in 2014. It applies to those with no qualifications, and will cost Â£2bn in total.
In Italy, a scheme worth just over Â£1bn will see young people in the impoverished south of the country a find it easier to work for businesses, who receive a tax break if hiring anyone under the age of 30.Schemes to bolster training and internship are also being launched in the country where youth unemployment is around 40%.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist of IHS Global Insight, said:
"We are becoming more hopeful about job prospects. While we doubt that the economy will be able to sustain the significantly improved growth rate that was likely achieved in the second quarter, we do expect clear growth to continue and business confidence to be firmer."