UN reports rise in global youth unemployment

Job prospects for young people are projected to remain bleak for several years. According to the latest United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) report (Global Trends for Youth) the number of unemployed young people worldwide has risen by four million since 2007.

Some 13% of people aged between 15 and 24 – that’s 75 million – are jobless. In the European Union that figure rises to 20%. In Spain it is over 50%. Last year, north Africa witnessed uprisings and revolutions against various dictatorships but these movements, often triggered by pressing social problems such as mass unemployment and poverty, fell short of overthrowing capitalism and landlordism. Consequently youth unemployment there has risen 5% on the 2010 regional figure to 28%.

The ILO reckons that six million are so disillusioned they have given up looking for work. Many of this ’lost generation’ could drift into criminality as a result. Even those with skills are increasingly finding it impossible to secure full-time jobs and instead are being forced into part-time and unskilled work. This pessimistic report also says that the jobs prospects for young people will remain bleak for the next four years.

All the ILO can suggest for a remedy is to give employers (more) tax breaks. In other words bribe employers with public subsidies to engage more young people. This and many other fixes have been tried and failed. Fundamentally the report fails to understand that the capitalists won’t invest in jobs if the rate of profit isn’t sufficient.

The socialist conclusion to this impasse is simple: change the system!


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