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Common Dreams

A Global Lost Generation: Youth Unemployment 'Epidemic' Is Borderless

International investigative report shows how financial crisis has set back an entire generation of workers

Common Dreams staff

If you think high unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is a major problem in the country you live in—you're almost certainly right.

But if you're not looking beyond the borders of your country, you're not seeing the big picture.

According to a new investigative report by the Huffington Post, the global jobs crisis among the youthful adults—specifically those under age 25—is at "epidemic" levels.

From the HuffPo:

The profound shortage of working opportunities for young people around the globe is largely the result of the synchronized financial crisis that emerged in the United States and then spread to Europe, generating economic strains on virtually every shore. Youth unemployment now holds the potential to exacerbate deep-seated social and political tensions while yielding new conflicts in an age of scarcity.

As this infographic shows:

And the online news outlet reports:

In many countries, youth employment is understood as a pressing domestic issue. But the proper lens is global: From Europe to North America to the Middle East, unemployment among young people has swelled into a veritable epidemic, one that threatens economic growth and social stability in dozens of countries for decades to come. Worldwide, some 75 million workers under age 25 were jobless last year, according to the International Labour Office, an increase of more than 4 million compared to 2007.

The crisis is altering family dynamics, as parents find themselves caring for grown children and as unemployed young people defer starting their own families. It is reinforcing austerity, as governments struggle to finance unemployment benefits and large numbers of would-be young consumers find themselves hunkering down in joblessness. Above all, it is assailing the psyches of young people who have been told that education is the pathway to a more prosperous life only to find that their degrees are no antidote to a bleak job market.

Read the full investigative report here.


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