One of the statistics repeatedly used by pundits to illustrate how bad things are in Europe, is the rate of youth unemployment in the southern European countries. Both Greece and Spain register youth unemployment at or above 50% percent, while Italy is at 36%. These are truly shocking numbers, however, as a report from The Atlantic points out, the picture changes somewhat when adjustment is made for those under 25 years in age who are not out of work, but are studying or taking some form of vocational training. This point notwithstanding, the picture is still bleak. As The Atlantic article goes on to state, the number of youth who are unemployed in southern Europe is still incredibly high even after one accounts for students, betraying a major economic problem:
But these less eye-popping numbers don’t mean that there isn’t an epidemic of youth unemployment in southern Europe. There is. Italy, Greece, Spain and Ireland all rank among the seven worst developed nations when it comes to eating their young — and all of them are getting worse. This is what a continent self-immolating looks like.
As opposed to just a recession, these numbers are beginning to look like depression-era statistics. One of the hallmarks of a depression is a dramatic increase in the rate of economically motivated migration by those seeking work elsewhere. In line with this, Gavin Hewitt, Europe editor for the BBC, tweeted an interesting statistic today. Spanish emigration has jumped in the past year by 44%.
Eye on Europe