Five and a half million young people under the age of 25 are currently unemployed in the EU – which is in part a consequence of the 'Great Recession' and the subsequent sluggish economic recovery. However, while countries with the biggest economic problems over the last six or seven years have generally experienced the greatest increases in youth unemployment, young people are also facing more long-term structural problems as they seek to enter the workforce, and have been for some time.
Even before the recession, young people in many countries were finding it harder than their adult counterparts to get jobs, and the ratio of youth to adult unemployment was increasing. While conventional wisdom places the blame for higher relative rates of youth unemployment on the changing nature of the labour market – particularly the decline in manufacturing jobs and the growth of the service sector – there is in fact a wide variation in experiences across Europe, reflecting not just the economic cycle but also differing institutional set-ups and policy responses.
The transition from education to full-time employment is managed in a variety of ways in different European countries, and no one country has got every aspect of it right. Drawing comparisons between countries is therefore a good way of identifying ways to improve the transition. This report contains analyses of the youth unemployment problems in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain – and, for a very different perspective, the US. It also draws out some common themes and illuminating points of difference, and recommends policy steps that can be taken to alleviate youth unemployment.
Snakes and ladders: Tackling precarity in social security and employment supportAcross the country, people are trying to make ends meet, build financial security and pursue their aspirations. But, in a vicious cycle of snakes and ladders, many are being pulled down into poverty.
Making markets: The City's role in industrial strategyTo tackle climate change, we need a significant increase in public and private capital investment.
Broken hearted: A spotlight paper on cardiovascular diseaseProgress on cardiovascular disease was a significant driver of better health and prosperity in the latter half of the 20th century, however progress has recently stalled – with indications it may be in reverse.