Europe’s “youth unemployment crisis” is “truly terrifying,” writes Derek Thompson in The Atlantic. Overall, EU unemployment is 12.2 percent, but it’s twice that for would-be workers under 25. Youth unemployment is 56 percent in Spain and 62.5 percent in Greece. “We’ve never seen a generation this educated also be this unemployed,” Thompson observes. Nearly 40 percent of young people in Spain and 30 percent in Greece are college educated.
The less scary “youth unemployment ratio” — the share of young job seekers divided by the entire population — is 9.7 percent in the EU. That doesn’t count the young people who’ve given up looking for work, writes Thompson. There are 26 million young”NEETS” (Not Employed, or in Education, or Training) in developed countries, according to the OECD.
The youth unemployment rate in the U.S. was 16 percent in late 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More young Americans (14.8 percent) than young Europeans (13.2 percent) were NEETs in 2011, the last time the OECD issued an estimate. In Italy, 19.5 percent of young people were out of work, out of school and out of luck in 2011, even higher than the numbers in Greece and Spain.