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Demystifying Youth Unemployment

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis , Mark Esposito, Terence Tse - August 2013

Speed Read
  • Official data on youth unemployment across the European Union shows disturbingly high rates, but these figures misrepresent the problem by not taking into account youth who are still in education.
  • Countries with low youth unemployment rates such as Germany and Singapore have been constantly improving their competitiveness creating sufficient quality jobs to absorb the educated workforce.
  • The problems are not the lack of skills, training graduates for jobs that ceased to exist, inflexible labour markets, a mismatch of opportunities and skills, a mix of cultural or other factors.
  • The economic loss from youth unemployment is high, estimated at €153 billion -or 1.2% of GDP in Europe in 2011.


The meeting in Rome on June 14, 2013 between the finance ministers of France, Italy, Germany and Spain on how to tackle youth unemployment ought to have taken place much earlier. So far, there have been relatively few efforts to tackle a major socio-economic problem that we are currently facing: the unemployment of those between the age 15 and 24. While this is certainly a cause for concern – according to the OECD

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