The Eurozone’s Lost Generation

by on December 1, 2013 2:18 am GMT

Many believe a country’s youth is their future, but what happens when the future’s future is looking bleak? As euro traders rejoice because the eurozone unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a percent to 12.1 percent last week, the young workers throughout the euro-bloc continue to suffer the brunt of the union’s inefficiency and unwillingness to tackle the core issues facing the eurozone. Youth unemployment continues to increase to a new record of 24.4 percent.

What is troubling is that the countries that led youth unemployment throughout the crisis continue to see any positive shifts five years later. The eurozone still faces little growth over the next several years. There is weak consumer demand and eurozone countries are not generating jobs.

Greece remains the leader in youth unemployment with a rate of 58 percent. Spain is close behind as youth unemployment ticks up to 57.4 percent. The rate in Italy increased .7 percent to 41.2 percent, and Portugal’s youth unemployment hit 36.5 percent. Out of the 17-nation eurozone, only six countries have youth unemployment under 20 percent: Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Estonia and Luxembourg. Two other large contributers, France and Ireland are just shy of 30 percent youth unemployment.

Those top unemployment countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, have public debt-to-GDP ratios of at least 80 percent.

Youth in the eurozone has entered lost generation status, and their future does not look good. Over 3.5 million youths, under-25 years of age, are unemployed throughout the eurozone. The latest reading on November 29 showed 15,000 more youths added to the unemployment doldrums.

Unless the eurozone gets its act together, the lost generation will never find their way to prosperity.