Generation scarred by youth employment crisis

Generation scarred by youth employment crisis


“Oh, it’s terrifying. It’s really, really terrifying… I would imagine that for every job opening
there has to be hundreds of other candidates that are, you know, equally as qualified”. In the global market for jobs, young people
have been hardest hit. From a high of 76 million unemployed at the
height of the crisis, the International Labour Office projects a slight decline for 2011. But the numbers belie a more serious problem. “If I sit around I’m just wasting my time. But I feel like even if I’m looking for a
job I’m still wasting my time. So I don’t know what to do anymore”. 75 million young people were looking for work
at the end of 2010. Though slightly less than in 2009, the decline
in part comes from young people who are hiding out in school or too discouraged to look for
work. And the longer they are out of work, the more
likely they are to be scarred for the rest of their working lives. “You’re scarred in terms of the path of
employment,it won’t be as easy, you’re scarred in terms of the pay that you will
receive” There has been some studies that have shown
that those who enter the labour market after long periods of unemployment, 10 years on,
we are still receiving wages that were 5 to 8 per cent lower than they might have been
otherwise. It simply means that you’re going to face
a more difficult future”. More young people are working part-time suggesting
those jobs are their only option. And in developing countries most young people
endure in working poverty in the informal economy simply to survive. (In Arabic) “The economic situation of the
country doesn’t allow any young graduate to work in any field, there is no work. I would take any job I could find”. Despite advances in education that promised
access to jobs, one in four young people are unemployed in the Middle East and North Africa
and this situation has not changed for at least 3 decades. Long-term youth unemployment rates in this
region helped spark the Arab spring uprisings. “I haven’t got high hopes, so I’m probably
gonna leave and get a job somewhere else in another country”. And in Europe and North America, frustration
is leading some to emigrate and others to the streets in protest. “We should encourage our young people to
not become discouraged, to keep themselves active somehow. It doesn’t have to be in the labour market
– they can volunteer, they can come together to push for a change in the system that has
overlooked their needs, anything that’s keeping them engaged. Because it’s the lack of engagement that
can create a sense of social discontent, a sense of detachment. So keep positive, keep engaged, push for a
better future”.