By Nemat Shafik (Version in عربي)
Young people were innocent bystanders in the global financial crisis, but they may well end up paying the heaviest price for the policy mistakes that have led us to where we are today.
Young people will have to pay the taxes to service the debts accumulated in recent years.
Moreover, the global economy is threatened by continued strains in the euro area, and unemployment is still climbing in several countries, in particular in Europe. Young people (those aged 15 to 24) are the most affected, and youth unemployment has reached record levels in a number of countries.
If the right policies are not put into place, there is a risk not only of a lost decade in terms of growth but also of a lost generation.
Consider this. In Spain and Greece, nearly half of all young people cannot find jobs. In the Middle East, young people account for 40 percent or more of all unemployed people in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia and nearly 60 percent in Syria and Egypt. And in the United States, which traditionally has had a strong job creation record, more than 18 percent of all young job seekers cannot find employment.
Legacy of loss
Youth unemployment has long-term consequences for economic growth because of the loss or degradation of human capital. But it also has many other consequences, both for the individuals affected and for society as a whole.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, Inequality, Low-income countries, Middle East, Public debt, recession | Tagged: Arab Spring, brain drain, crime, debt, Egypt, Europe, Greece, jobs, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East, Morocco, Nemat Shafik, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, unemployment, youth | 13 Comments »