The lost Generation?- Youth Unemployment
Table of Contents
The ENP Region
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership (ENP) region consists of the EU’s 17 closest neighboring countries: Algeria , Armenia , Azerbaijan , Belarus , Egypt , Georgia , Israel , Jordan , Lebanon , Libya Moldova Morocco , the Occupied Gender Equality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Territory, Gender Equality in Syria, Tunisia , Ukraine the Russian Federation (covered within the EU-Russia Common Spaces framework). The foreign demand for labor depends on the efficiency of the school system in the different countriesKolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.8 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011. Sándor Czomba, the Hungary Minister of State for Employment, says that a capable and effective education and training system is a starting point for the successful labor market participation of young people“EU and ILO enhancing fight against youth unemployment in Eastern Europe and Caucasus .” ILO, 12th June 2011. Web. 6 Aug 2011.. Another important problem is the prevalence of young people who are neither employed nor in the education system, but who make up what is known as the informal sector. The current and future financing of education is a key issue in the ENP region since it is vital for creating new and better employment prospects. Many national education policies, such as the EGE in Russia (“Ediny gosudarstvenny ekzamen”), which is the Unified State Exam implemented upon High School graduation, have been implemented in order to raise and equalize education standardsEGE Website. Today, however, a large number of young and ambitious people entering the labor market face the daunting challenge of finding a decent job. University graduates are often forced by the market to accept jobs that do not utilize the advanced training they have received. In contrast, others start working before they have reached the age of 15 which is too early for them to also receive a decent education. This region suffers from limited employment opportunities for decent work. The transition of young people from inactivity to the labour market has to be improved. Youth unemployment rates are unusually high with current estimates exceeding 20% of the young labor force. Women and those with lower education levels are among those most at risk of unemploymentKolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.10 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011.
As stated above, women are at a high risk for unemployment in the labor market. Explanations for this often place a heavy weight on the countries’ social attitudes, especially in the Southern ENP countries. Generally though, youth unemployment rates would not be as sky high if a few particular countries were taken out that have extremely high female unemployment rates, such as in Armenia , Georgia , Gender Equality in Syria or in Egypt . In comparison, the unemployment gender gap in Europe reaches only 2%.Kolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.64 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011
The Transition from School to Work
The transition from school to work is a very important and critical phase experienced by young people since a positive start promises good future prospects, but the effect of a bad or late start is difficult to be inversed. In the ENP region, the share of youth within the working age population (considered to be between 15 and 64 years) ranges from 15%- 35%Kolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.46-52 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011. Throughout the even younger population internationally, Child labour are lower in the ENP countries, which are even lower than in other countries. However, Moldova is an exception where 1/3 of the youngsters are employed and drop out of school. In the Eastern region, most of the children are able to combine school and work. Gender differences can only be seen in some countries, such as in Egypt Gender Equality in Gender Equality in Syria, where boys are more likely to work than girls. The reason for the difficulty for young people not finding a well-suited job is due to the limited employment opportunities and low-quality jobs. In many labour markets one can find many, small monopolies that forbid the creation of new perspectives for new ideas. The aspect of corruption and the question of having “contacts” also handicaps the young generation in the market. The highest youth unemployment rates are found in Armenia , Egypt , Georgia Tunisia . Not many significant statistics are found for the discouraged youth that have given up the search. The time from after graduation until finding work is crucial. In Egypt , for example, a person aged 20-24 has to look for employment for an average of nearly three years. Limited opportunities sometimes force youth towards migration to other countries. Unfortunately, lower levels of education and skills often lead them to the worst type of migration, Trafficking of Women Kolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.46-52 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011 .
The Impact of the Financial Crisis
According to the International Labour Organization ( ), from 2007 to 2009, the worldwide youth unemployment rate has increased to 13%, which means that nearly 81 million young people are unemployed. This is stated to be a new record since 1991“EU and ILO enhancing fight against youth unemployment in Eastern Europe and Caucasus .” ILO, 12th June 2011. Web. 6 Aug 2011.. The ILO speaks of the “lost generation”, when talking about the young people who have lost their last hope. 152 million young people, or about 28% of all the young workers in the world, worked but remained in extreme poverty in households surviving on less than $1.25 per person per day in 2008“World economic crisis has spurred a record increase in youth unemployment says ILO” ILO, 11th August 2011. Web. 6 Aug 2011. The economic and financial crisis had its worse impact on the developing countries. In Russia, the overall unemployment rate for youth was 14.4% in 2007, breaking it up under the gender categories; 14,4% unemployed males and 14.7% unemployed women”Index Mundi.” Youth Unemployment Rate- Economy- Russia. United Nations Statistics Division, n.d. Web. 6 Aug 2011. .. Even if this does not show a large difference in numbers, women are still considered to have significantly lower chances of finding employment after the crisis. Those large numbers are oftentimes explained by a lower number of entry-level job openings and reeducations within employed staff. Countries that were on the top of those indicators are the now famous cases of Greece Italy and Spain . Although some of the experienced employers had to leave during this time, they were still preferred to stay rather than hiring new, inexperienced participants of the labour marketGoncherova, Elena. “Youth unemployment rate across the globe is highest in 20 years.” RT. N.p., 17th August 2010. Web. 6 Aug 2011.
Men during the Crisis
Internationally, except in the US and some EU countries, women were the ones most effected by the crisis- laid off the most frequently and declined in interviews. Protests in Southeast Asia occurred, since men aged 35 years and older where considered to be the most “thick-skinned” and so the ones who had the most stable positions during the The impact of the global financial crisis on women. On the other hand, some statistics have shown that in the US and the EU, men had a higher unemployment rate than women, explaining that in general, women remain calm and are able to cope better with Gender Differences in Responses to StressGoncherova, Elena. “Youth unemployment rate across the globe is highest in 20 years.” RT. N.p., 17th August 2010. Web. 6 Aug 2011.
The lack of opportunities, a large informal sector, short-time jobs, low investment, corruption and finally the financial crisis leads to dissatisfaction, mental health issues and youth poverty which has a negative impact on the well-being of the youth. But, is it really a “lost generation”? The youth bulge, especially in the southern ENP countries will impose high pressure on the labor market, similar as onto the education systems. Thus, many initiatives were and will be taking off to increase the standards of education and to shrink the “miss-match” in skills between countriesKolev, Alexandre. “Social Inclusion and Youth in European Neighbouring.” p.67 European Commission, 2009. Web. 6 Aug 2011. The ENP countries will be urged to create new and better jobs for the sake of their future economic health. Political agenda is crucial to challenge the social attitudes considering gender, corruption and monopolies. Effective strategies are needed to create jobs for the future generations.
- Gender Equality in employment, education and entrepreneurship
- Different gender reactions to unemployment
- The impact of the global financial crisis on women