Countries around Europe are racing to bring in austerity measures and budget cuts. That will make it harder to keep and find jobs, and it is having a particularly bad impact on the under 25-year-olds. According to the latest figures from Eurostat , youth unemployment in the Eurozone is as high as 22.3 per cent. For everyone else in Europe, unemployment was tracking at 10.3 per cent.
A new report from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions found that in the first quarter of 2011 the youth employment rate in Europe dropped to 32.9%, the lowest value ever recorded in the history of the European Union. And it is costing Europe heavily. Surveying 21 countries in the European labour market, the study found that it was costing €2 billion per week to the citizens of the countries. "The yearly total of approximately €100 billion, which corresponds to one per cent of their aggregated GDP, can be split into €94 billion of foregone earnings and €7 billion of excess transfers. At the country level, the most expensive bill in euro is paid annually by Italy (€26 billion) and the UK (€16 billion). However, in terms of percentage of GDP, Ireland and Bulgaria pay the most expensive bill (more than two per cent of GDP), followed by Italy (1.7 per cent).
The renewed austerity drive will make it worse, possibly creating a generation that will never have known work.