Europe's youth continue struggle for jobs
16 July 2013, 18:04
Paris - Young people in many European countries will
continue to struggle for jobs as unemployment in the eurozone is set to hit a
record 12.3% in 2014, the OECD said on Tuesday.
The poor and low-skilled sections of the workforce are
also in the front line of unemployment.
In its annual Employment Outlook, the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also expressed concern over the
strains on social welfare of "persistently high levels of unemployment”.
"While there have been some encouraging signs of a
recovery in employment growth in the United States, this has been offset by the
return of recession in the eurozone," the report said, adding youth were
the hardest hit.
The organisation pointed to widening disparities between
countries in the zone, with jobless rates in Germany set to fall under 5% by
end 2014, while they will climb to around 28% in Spain and Greece.
Further afield, unemployment was set to drop in Canada
and the United States, it added.
The OECD is a research and policy body for 34 advanced
and emerging democracies.
"Across the OECD, more than 48 million persons are
unemployed, almost 16 million more than at the start of the crisis," it
said in its report, referring to the onset of the global financial crisis in
Young people are and will continue to be particularly
hard hit in many European countries, the report said, with youth jobless rates
currently exceeding 60% in Greece, 55% in Spain and around 40% in Italy and
Job and earnings losses have also been concentrated in
low-skilled, low-income households more than in those with higher skills and
People on insecure, short-term contracts were often the
first to be fired as the crisis hit and have since struggled to find a new job,
the report said.
"Concerns are growing in many countries about the
strains that persistently high levels of unemployment are placing on the social
"Governments are facing the challenge of 'doing more
with less'," it said, pointing to increasing social welfare needs just as
fiscal resources required to meet those demands are shrinking.
The OECD stressed that income support measures -
particularly for the most vulnerable such as the long-term unemployed - must
not be abandoned as they are "essential for cushioning the damaging
effects of the crisis”.
"They also help to sustain demand for goods and
services which, in turn, contributes to growth and future employment
The report outlined various measures needed to help and
encourage the unemployed to find jobs, particularly young people, such as
making sure adequate resources are devoted to assisting with job hunting and training.
"Youth need to be actively supported to avoid
long-term 'scarring' effects as a result of prolonged unemployment and
low-income spells early on in their careers," it said.
By contrast, older workers have fared better since the
onset of the crisis, partly because they retire later for reasons such as
better health, the closure of access to early retirement schemes and financial
pressures, it added.
But evidence suggests this had not been at the expense of
the young, the report stressed.