Youth unemployment remains the main concern for EU policymakers

Press Releases

31 Aug 2012

The latest EU unemployment figures show that the overall rate of unemployment in the Eurozone rose to 11.3% in July 2012, from 10.1% a year previously. The unemployment rate in the EU27 has also risen, to 10.4% from 9.6% a year ago. However, the July 2012 figures were stable compared with figures for the previous month.

Andrea Broughton, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies comments:

‘Youth unemployment remains the main concern of EU policymakers - the latest figures show that the youth unemployment rate remains high, at 22.6% in the Eurozone and 22.5% in the EU27. The rate of youth unemployment varies greatly according to country, ranging from over 50% in Greece and Spain, to just 8% in Germany and 8.9% in Austria.

‘These country differences in youth unemployment are not just a product of the crisis - they have been in place for many years before the crisis began. The explanation for this lies in factors such as the labour market and education and training policy of individual countries.

‘For example, relatively low youth unemployment rates in countries such as Germany and Austria are in no small part due to these countries' dual education systems, in which young people can enter programmes consisting of academic learning coupled with work experience. This gives young people valuable contact with the labour market and enables employers to get to know them, increasing the likelihood that the employer will offer them work after the placement. This goes some way towards explaining the differences in youth unemployment rates around the EU, which were present before the crisis.’