Since the Great Recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2022 high rates of inflation, it has grown rapidly. When seen from a European perspective, its expansion has been focused in Southern Europe, especially in Greece, where more than half of the young people in the labour market are jobless.
For many years, youth unemployment has been a concern in many countries. There have
been many different policy initiatives made in response to it. However, despite the
abundance of policy knowledge amassed to far, the so-called "Great Recession" saw a sharp increase in teenage unemployment.
The increase has reached previously unheard-of proportions and was particularly noticeable in Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Greece. This raises important concerns regarding the applicability of previous policy lessons to the current situation of the young labour market.
The age group 25-29 in Greece is arguably the most concerning since, in terms of numbers,
their unemployment rate is substantially higher than that of those between the ages of 15
and 19. Concerningly high percentage of this population are NEETS (Not in Education,
Employment or Training). Despite being excluded from the typical definition of youth
unemployment, this cohort was the youngest when the recession initially began. As a result,
many people found it difficult to move from education to work. Whether this group is
suffering cohort or age effects is a question to be pondered.
This is undoubtedly a crucial distinction in light of the damaging impact of unemployment on this population. Compared to young people in Northern Europe, Greek youths are significantly more likely to live at home. Spain and Portugal have a similar tendency. While this reduces the costs of unemployment, it may also limit mobility, lengthening the period of unemployed.
Additionally, there is evidence that many young workers are underemployed, working part-
time jobs when they would prefer full-time ones, and working under temporary contracts
when they would prefer permanent ones.
Greece has one of the highest percentages of young people who are unemployed among European countries. So, there is a good chance that there will be significant scarring consequences, particularly for the 25-29 age group.
These young people may still reside with their parents in an incredibly high percentage of
cases. Greece has had the fastest rate of loss in its standard of living with the start of these crisis. Lack of mobility brought on by property market rigidities appears to be a significant
challenge in Greece. Concerningly, there is little indication that Greece's alarmingly high
rates of youth unemployment will decrease very soon.