The pandemic has exacerbated youth unemployment problems in Europe. There are fewer work opportunities, and young people are competing with unemployed people with more experience. We look at what's being done to counteract this.
Youth unemployment in the EU has increased following the COVID-19 pandemic. It rose from 15% in 2019 to 17.8% in December 2020.
There are now 3.1 million 15-24 year-olds in Europe actively looking for work and unable to find a job and 4.7 million in the age category 19-29 years old.
The number of 15-29 year-olds without a job and not in education or training- known as NEETS - is 9.6 million.
During the financial crisis, youth unemployment went up from 16% to 26%. The rate only returned to its 2008 level in 2018 although in Spain, Italy and Greece youth unemployment remained high.
To avoid the same impact from the pandemic crisis, the EU will be investing at least €22 billion over the next seven years to help get young people into work. This is the Youth Employment Support package and is financed by the European Social Fund+ and other EU funds.
It includes the Youth Guarantee where all those who sign up get an offer of a job, apprenticeship, education, or training within four months.
Another more hidden impact of the pandemic is a “wellbeing crisis” among young people. A survey of over 12,500 young people in 112 countries carried out by the European Youth Forum with the ILO and other partners, shows that over half of young people across the globe are showing signs of depression and anxiety since the pandemic began.