Youth Unemployment

Daniel Gros writes here.

12 replies on “Youth Unemployment”

It is of course true that youth unemployment is part of a bigger problem and as previously discussed here, including those in full-time education in the denominator in deriving the jobless rate makes a bad situation seem more dire.

However, Daniel Gros seems a little too sanguine about the issue that is a problem in countries that do not have the tradition of apprenticeship systems (which are now much broader than a focus on just crafts).

A Gallup poll this week showed that 70% of American workers are cheesed off with their jobs and young people who do not have an interest in academic education, and are without work long term can easily remain unemployable in a recovery while long-term remaining in an underclass.

It’s not difficult to see how crime can appear attractive.

Running prisons is costly too.

It’s not difficult to see how crime can appear attractive.

The Irish bankers made billions out of it after all.

The lesson for young people in Ireland is that crime and contacts pay; skill and effort do not. Mr Gros seems to think that this is not a problem, but frankyl I shudder at what kind of generation is coming up the tracks to rule the country next.

Gros may or may not have a valid point about youth unemployment but it is a fact that it’s an issue to some extent or another.

And yet there are many companies who would love to take on more staff but either the lack the money or they lack the business due to their customer’s lack of money.

I understand that pumping money at a problem is not necessarily a silver bullet but there’s no reason why the money supply should not be adequate for trading. And why does the money supply shrink? Because banks delete money through loan repayments. And how is more money expected to enter the economy? Through someone taking out a loan from a bank but this presents an obvious problem in an economy already awash with debt.

At times of high unemployment there’s no reason why the central bank couldn’t create more money for the Government and record a token asset on it’s books as opposed to the usual debt back to them.

Positive Money in the UK have started a ‘QE for jobs’ campaign with the requirement that any new QE tier II money be spend into existence into the real economy, as opposed to tier I money swapped into existence into the financial services sector.

More info on this is available at:

“But there are several reasons to doubt that youth unemployment is a discrete problem meriting special treatment”

Says it all. Who’s this guy punting for? The EU?


Well, lets just say he is German, got his Phd in economics in Chicago in the eighties, worked for the European Commission and lectured at the home of academic neoliberalism in Italy, Bocconi University.

Have a look at his Project Syndicate list of articles:

A title picked at random: “Europe’s Mistaken Quest for Growth” or enjoy this very, very German (cause? effect? who cares? There is a correlation!) Vox piece Austerity is unavoidable after a bout of profligacy#

He is the director of the Center for European Policy Studies , the list of other directors for the is interesting.

John Bruton is Ireland’s contribution to the board. The prosecution rests its case milud.

There are several problems that I see with systemic unemployment for young people

1. Total waste of potential – these people will be left behind forever even if the economy picks up
2. Fewer punters to fund pensions
3. Possible impact on the birth rate and population pyramid
4. Consumerism in their faces and they have no purchasing power- breeds anger
5. In extremis :

“In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote about the millions of stateless and rightless persons cast up by the early wars of the twentieth century and the imperialist manufacture of new nations before and after World War I. A whole generation of the displaced were brought into the world so lacking in hope, so without access to elementary rights that, for them, to live within the law presented no advantage over crime and for that matter terrorism. “The calamity of the rightless is not that they are deprived of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Arendt wrote, “but that they no longer belong to any community whatsoever. Their plight is not that they are not equal before the law, but that no law exists for them.” The disasters of the twentieth century, as she judged them, had proved that a globalized order might “produce barbarians from its own midst by forcing millions of people into conditions which, despite all appearances, are the conditions of savages.””

“Given that there is no better time to kick a man than when he is down Simon Wren Lewis more or less accused Gros of being actively dishonest before”

The Stat that he hangs his argument on are that the UK and Sweden have 40% of their overall unemployed between the ages of 15 and 24. Ill check it out but it sounds wrong in my head.

Here are two Irish based stats.
“Since 2007 the Irish economy has lost about 350,000 jobs yet the amount of people working in 2013 above the age of 35 is now the same as it was in 2007.” – From the CSO a couple of months back

“The younger age group on average spent 20 per cent less per week in 2009/2010 compared with five years earlier. Over the same period, those aged over 45 managed to keep most of their bubble-era gains, spending 31 per cent more each week than they did in 2004/2005.” Petra Gerlach in a recent ESRI report.

Now someone is going to have to explain to me how both of the above stats can be true and yet we don’t have a youth unemployment problem.

OK he is just playing with the numbers.
In the UK No of those Unemployed 950k are between 16-24
and the total figure is 2.5 million unemployed so they technically make up 38%

However of the 950 k unemployed include 261k in fulltime employment and an unspecified amount in part time training and education.

The 16-24 year olds share of Job seekers allowance in the UK is about 25%

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