Unemployment: young people remain victims of the crisis

THE ECO SCAN – The crisis erupted seven years ago. Yet, in developed OECD countries, young people are increasingly unemployed or out of the education system. Despite the grandpa boom that sets in, the problems will not go away. State of play in graphics.

Young people still bear the scars of the crisis, which erupted seven years ago. And they definitely do not close. , l ‘draws up a disastrous assessment of the situation of young people in terms of skills and employability.

• The catastrophic state of youth unemployment in developed countries

The figures are from 2013 (the latest exploitable and comparable), but the organization warns from the outset in its report: the 2014 forecasts do not bode better, given the forecasts of sluggish growth in the years to come, especially in Europe.

In 2013, therefore, there were 39 million young people, between 15 and 29 years old, said to be “unemployed or without study or training”. This is 5 million more than in 2008, when the financial crisis broke out, which spread into a global economic crisis, hitting the developed economies hard. Especially the countries of southern Europe, like the, the or the: it is precisely in these countries that the unemployment rates of young working people are the most edifying (over 25%!). Even more worrying, points out the OECD: among these 39 million active inactive young people, more than half (approximately 20 million) “left the radar” of the education and social system of their country.

“These figures do not speak only of the personal tragedy of these young people, warns the OECD, but also evoke a wasted investment, the skills acquired during the studies not being used, and perhaps also a burden for the States , made up of falling tax revenues, rising social spending and probably social instability when part of the population finds itself idle and disillusioned. ”

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• More than before the crisis, young people are at risk of poverty

Between 2007 and 2011, young people suffered the largest drops in income and the gap in the “risk of poverty” between young people and the rest of the population increased in most of the countries studied (22 in all), as in Denmark, in, in, in or in New Zealand.

Yet, notes the OECD, “Ensuring that young people can participate in the economy and society is crucial to ensuring a prosperous community and fostering social cohesion, and therefore achieving growth.”

• The grandpa boom will not solve everything

The labor market is forecast to improve in the coming years in most OECD countries. And in the long run, the share of young people in the total population will fall. On this point, France should suffer less of the counter-shock than its German or British neighbors, where politicians are already worrying annoyingly about the consequences of the aging of their population.

“However, the problems will not simply go away over time,” warns the OECD. And to add: “the countries which will see their populations aging quickly, at the same time as the proportion of young people will decline, will become even more dependent on the results of these young people”, whose skills are either too weak or unsuitable for the market. work.

• Employability, the number one issue

It is necessary, advocates the OECD, to improve the employability – and therefore the skills – of young people, not only to obtain a place in the labor market but also to stay there when they have succeeded. However, here again, the OECD is worried: the education system and the world of work are still and always disconnected. Here are a few figures which bear witness to the difficulties young people have in integrating or remaining in the labor market:

– 10% of young graduates have “poor” knowledge in writing and 14% in mathematics – which makes them unattractive for a potential employer.

– Less than 50% of students in OECD countries immerse themselves in the world of work. What makes them young workers without solid professional experience.

– The most qualified young people find it difficult to find work: without professional experience (or very little), they are too expensive for companies.

– Young people who are employed find it difficult to develop their knowledge and thus advance their careers: a quarter of employment contracts are temporary and 12% of young people are overqualified for their work.

The OECD stresses the need to continue structural reforms in developed countries, to make them more resilient and help them mitigate the impact of future economic shocks on young people. Although it “recognizes that many countries still face a deteriorating overall economic situation or a weak recovery, which makes it difficult to deal with the problem of youth employment.”