Open Europe Blog

An unstoppable march? Maybe. The consistent monthly practice of smashing unemployment records in the eurozone continued in April with the overall total reaching 12.2% while youth unemployment hit a whopping 24.4%.

  • As the graph highlights (click to enlarge) youth unemployment has risen a staggering amount in some countries since the start of the crisis (for countries where April data is not yet available the latest month available was used).
  • The problems in Greece are well documented but some very large economies also have some very serious problems with youth unemployment. In April it stood at 56.4% in Spain, 42.5% in Portugal and 40.5% Italy.
  • The longer this goes on the more problems it will cause both economically and socially. It creates a split within society with many young people seeing a very bleak future; traditionally this has also fed populism and the rise of extreme political parties.
  • Economically it hurts the long term productive potential of the economy as some of these young people see their productivity reduced by long stints out of work, while many others will look for work abroad potentially creating a ‘brain drain’ and worsening an already troubling demographic problems.
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