Happy new year – 2011 is upon us. Here is another great graphic from The Economist depicting youth and adult unemployment in OECD countries for Q2 2010.
The global recession has hit young workers particularly hard. In the mostly rich countries of the OECD, the youth-unemployment rate (the unemployed as a proportion of the labour force aged 15-24) increased by 4.9 percentage points between 2007 and 2009, to 18.4%. By the second quarter of 2010 it had risen to 19.6%. Young people typically struggle to gain employment and are the first to be laid off; in nine countries more than one in four are now jobless. Spain has the highest youth-unemployment rate, at 42%, more than twice the unemployment rate of adults aged 25-54. In New Zealand, Sweden and Luxembourg, the youth-to-adult unemployment ratio is more than four. Germany has the lowest ratio (1.3), largely thanks to its successful apprenticeship system. The OECD warns that recovery will be slow and forecasts that youth unemployment will still be around 20% by the end of 2011.