We Are Excluded - Current Country Studies by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Analyse Youth Unemployment in Europe

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The debt and economic crisis may be increasing youth unemployment in many European countries, but it is not its structural cause. The current academic country studies by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) from 12 European countries show that a growing proportion of young people in the EU have no longer been successfully making a smooth transition from school to permanent, paid employment. Instead of quickly gaining a lasting foothold in the job market, young people throughout Europe are wasting valuable years in an unsatisfactory situation of bouncing backwards and forwards between education, unemployment and precarious jobs, and this does not enable them to make definite life and career plans. It is a mass phenomenon. Instead of a permanent job, many 15 to 24-year-olds are only finding precarious part-time or temporary jobs or posts with fixed-term contracts in the increasingly deregulated job markets of the EU. They are therefore the first to lose their jobs in periods of economic volatility. The current economic crisis is also hitting them the hardest. In the countries of the EU, an average of 22 per cent of young people are unemployed, approximately twice the average figure for adults. A proportion of Europe’s youth has therefore gradually become a lost generation, which makes it even harder for this generation to embark upon careers.

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