Latest data on youth unemployment
Posted on July 15, 2014 by Daragh McCarthy
As shown in the latest Quarterly Economic Facts , the youth unemployment rate in Ireland over the opening five months of the year was just over 25 per cent, down from a recent high of 30.4 per cent in 2012. While this represents a considerable improvement, the proportion of young people unemployed is still amongst the highest in the EU and there is data to suggest that many of these people have been looking for work for a long period of time—with 24,000 young people on the live register for one year or more.
Youth unemployment rates are generally higher than the average unemployment rate, partially due to the tendency for young people to be over represented in jobs that are sensitive to economic cycles—jobs in the construction sector, for example. Across Europe, the increase in the share of unemployed young people has been significantly greater than for the older active population since the start economic downturn in 2008. Given the scale of the crisis in Ireland, the rate of increase in youth unemployment here was more severe than in most European countries. The youth unemployment rate in Ireland rose by 15 percentage points to 24 per cent between the end of 2007 and 2009, before reaching 30.4 per cent in 2012. As the chart below shows, Germany, Austria and Iceland are the only countries with a youth unemployment rate below 10 per cent.
Comparision of youth unemployment across Europe, May 2014
*Data refers to Aprill 2014 **Data refers to March 2014
47,500 people under the age of 25 are currently out of work. At an economic level, high youth unemployment often results in less productivity, as there are fewer opportunities for young workers to bring new skills and innovation into the workplace. On a personal level, there a large body of evidence that points to the heighten risk of social exclusion, lower reported levels of well-being and poorer health. Maintaining social cohesion and the current economic recovery require a well-balanced policy response to the issue of youth unemployment.