Leaders in Europe and around the world are hoping the worst of the economic and financial crisis is over and that 2014 will be a year of recovery.
However, when it comes to youth unemployment in the European Union (EU), there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel, save for a few exceptions. Youth unemployment has been on a continuous rise since the beginning of the crisis five years ago and, according to Eurostat (the European Commission’s Directorate providing statistical information), it has now reached an average of 23.5%.
More specifically, there has been an increase of the “NEETs,” young people who are not in employment, education or training. According to Eurofound — tasked with improving living and working conditions — as many as 14 million young Europeans fall into this category.
The problem has been particularly acute in the European “Southern belt” — Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Croatia — where roughly one in two young people are without a job. Many of the new Eastern European members, including Romania and Bulgaria, also face difficult youth unemployment problems.
In truth, the information produced by Eurostat does not provide a complete picture. First, it only takes into account people aged between 15-24, leaving out many youngsters that entered the job market during the economic crisis.
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