Youth in the EU

Around 7.5 million people aged 15 to 24 are not in employment, education or training. The economic crisis has made finding a job much harder. More than 1 in 5 young people are out of work. To help them, the European Commission is proposing a package of measures, including a recommendation for EU countries to implement a job and training guarantee programme for those aged under 25. Under such programmes EU countries would ensure all young people receive a job offer, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming jobless.

The Commission would support the national programmes by providing EU funding and by forming networks to exchange ideas on the best ways to get young people into work, training or apprenticeships.

Apart from the hardship young people and their families suffer, the cost of youth unemployment to Europe's economy is equivalent to around 1.2% of EU GDP, or €150 billion a year (calculated as benefits paid out plus lost tax revenues and eaings).

In June 2013, 5.512 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.526 million were in the euro area. Compared with June 2012, youth unemployment decreased by 43 000 in the EU27and increased by 43 000 in the euro area. In June 2013, the youth unemployment rate5 was 23.2% in theEU27 and 23.9% in the euro area, compared with 22.8% and 23.0% respectively in June 2012. In June 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.5%), Austria (9.3%) the Netherlands (11.0%) andMalta (11.2%), and the highest in Greece (58.7% in April 2013) and Spain (56.1%).

It is also important to help out now rather than wait for the economy to recover. The longer young people remain unemployed and without work experience, the greater the risk they will be left out of the job market when the economy rebounds.

Across Europe around 30% of young people without a job have been unemployed for more than 12 months – 1.6 million in 2011, compared to 900 000 in 2008.




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