Unemployed Youth in Europe

They have been dubbed the NEETs... not in education, employment or training. A cohort of European youth between 18 and 25 whose ambitions for work and career are being shoved into oblivion by a deep economic crisis. And beyond the daily struggle, there is research that suggests this particular age group will be burdened by the effects of this crisis right into middle age. Today, The Current begins with stories from what some are calling The Lost Generation.

Part One of The Current


It's Monday, February 20th.

Libyans spent the weekend celebrating the anniversary of the uprising that toppled Moammar Gadhafi.

Currently, As per tradition, the festivities included roving militias, detention without trial and torture.

This is The Current.

Unemployed Youth in Europe

European Union finance ministers will meet today to decide whether to approve a 170 Billion dollar bailout for Greece. If approved, it will mean more tough times ahead for Greeks. Athens has already approved severe austerity measures, including cuts to the minimum wage and pension funds.

15,000 civil servants face layoffs and state assets will be sold. Perhaps the hardest hit will be the young. Youth unemployment in Greece is a staggering 48 per cent. That means nearly half of all Greeks between the ages of 16 and 24, who are not in school are also not working.

Youth unemployment is at historic levels all over Europe, leaving some observers to predict that the effects of the current economic crisis will linger for years, even decades.

We heard from Daniel Franco. He is an unemployed 22-year-old in Terrassa, Spain. We also spoke with Dimitris Birmbos, an unemployed 25-year-old who lives in Athens, Greece.

Unemployed Youth in Europe - David Blanchflower

Italy has problems with youth unemployment as well. Thirty per cent of young Italians aren't working. We asked freelance broadcaster Megan Williams to ask young Romans how they were making out.

David Blanchflower has seen this all before and he says it doesn't end well. He is a professor of economics at Dartmouth College who has studied labour markets around the world and looked specifically at the lasting effects on young people who grew up during the recession in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. David Blanchflower was in Hanover, New Hampshire.

This half-hour segment was produced by The Current's Heather Barrett, Ellen Saenger and Josh Bloch.

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