Monday, 26 April 2010

Youth unemployment

Slí Eile: As unemployment remains high young people are particularly badly affected. Already, the ESRI has assumed a total net outflow of 60,000 in the 12 months ending April 2010 - which if it turns out to be true would represent the highest level of net outward migration since the 1950s.
The OECD has, recently, released data showing both the level and the ratio of youth unemployment (to the total) for OECD countries. See here. Ireland (the Republic) comes third behind Spain and the Slovak Republic in the absolute level of unemployment among 15-24 year olds. Taking account of emigration and the trend towards lower levels of labour force participation the true rate of non-engagement is under-stated. This represents a huge waste of human potential, a massive indictment of failed political policy and a wake up call to all to treat this matter as a national emergency. Where are the indices, the emergency measures, the bail-outs, the think pieces ....Does anyone care? Why is the issue of youth unemployment not treated with the same urgency as was the case in the mid-1980s when it reached high levels?


Joseph said...

Even these aren't the true figures. I'm a (very) mature student who is just coming to the end of my masters and almost everyone I've met doing any postgrad study seems to be in their 20's and have come straight from their initial degree because they looked around, saw no work and decided to stay in ft education (and luckily, their parents could afford to let them). I also know plenty of people in their 20's with part time jobs. They too don't appear on the official unemployment figures. Almost everyone, in both groups, tell me they will go abroad at the first opportunity. They see absolutely nothing for them here and they don't see anybody in government or elsewhere doing anything about it. A lost generation?

Anonymous said...

Extreme cynicism should be the default position for any intelligent person when reflecting and commenting upon this government's handling of the economic crisis. I can picture "high fives" in the Department of Finance at the prospect of nett emigration of 60,000 this year.

The fact is, and always was, that the elite groups who run this state, who ARE this state, don't WANT every citizen to reach his or her full potential. That would be way too difficult to control; an engaged, educated, assertive citizenry would be a truly nightmare prospect for all the major political parties, unions, universities etc.

This crisis is the best thing to have happened to those elite groups who feel that the 'boom' years raised expectations of what should be possible for citizens and migrants alike, far too high.

High unemployment, mass emigration are to be welcomed by these elite groups who would rather cede control to the IMF (as many are so obviously prepared to do) can work to fulfill the huge human potential in this state. The noxious ghost of Cumann na nGaedhael is working it's poison.

Eoin O Broin said...

Full details of Sinn Fein's youth employment campaign can be found here: