Better to Be Old Than Young (and Sorry)?

For once it might seem just a little better if you have greying temples and are a bit hard of hearing these days rather than young and boisterous, raring to go and hit the career ladder, thinking that you’re going to get to the top in one go. According to new statistics released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it would seems the older you are the easier it has been to weather the storm of the financial crisis and that looks as if it is set to continue well into 2014.

Youth Employment: Condemned?

Youth Employment: Condemned?

Not only will joblessness increase for many of the EU’s youngsters but it will in fact actually get worse. The OECD advises that governments should take action immediately before the situation becomes a rut in which the EU’s youth gets permanently lodged. But, the report also goes on to state that we should not make the mistakes of the past (which we shall do, anyway, since we always have a tendency to never learn from our past mistakes). That means that youth unemployment cannot be decreased simply by pensioning people off at an earlier age to make room for them. Anyhow, we know that wouldn’t be possible as there are no more pensions left for the elderly, are there? The mistake of thinking that young people have nothing to offer a company is also a mistake that needs to be changed. Giving a chance to young people to make their way in the world is far from what we are doing at the moment. Companies are too frightened to take young people on these days and give them a leg-up somewhere along the line. Too frightened or not enough money.

It would seem as if it is better to be old than young these days.

The OECD predicts the jobless levels for youngsters around the world will remain relatively high well into 2014. OECD Secretary-General, Ángel Gurría stated that “the social scars of the crisis are far from being healed”. Unemployment has continued to rise across the board in most countries. But, there is widening distance being made between the situations that are being experienced in countries around the world. We have countries that are seeing employment improve, such as Germany (where unemployment will be set to decline to below 5% in the next year). In the USA, the target that is being predicted (and upheld by the OECD) is under 7% by the end of 2014.

Governments have little all else as a solution than to encourage older people to leave the market place and make room for the youth of today that is largely suffering from unemployment. But, that is hardly a good solution. Despite government pressure on such matters, companies are unwilling in today’s economic volatility to let those people with the greatest knowledge and experience go. That seems rightly so at times. Other solutions have to be sought by governments that are other than mere replacement.

Youth: No Future?

Youth: No Future?

The OECD has recommended that governments make structural reforms and implement active policies in the labor market that will help that sector find employment.

  • Certainly governments need to think about policies that have been implemented meaning that everybody thinks that they should go to university (manual jobs have failed to be filled as a result). You can find an IT specialist, but you can’t find a plumber.
  • To boot, studying is not always the investment that people were told it was going to be. Banks and financial institutions have failed around the world. Why would anybody think that they could contract debts at university to pay for their education? All they end up with when they graduate are huge debts and nothing else.
  • School examination boards just award better and better grades to students in final-year examinations. Every year in Britain the number of passes awarded increases and nobody questions what’s happening. Overall rates rose for the 30th year in a row last year in the UK for example for A’Levels as the rate nears almost 100% success. Isn’t that taking the value out of what is being studied? People haven’t suddenly become more intelligent over time.
  • Taxation also needs to be looked at. If it is going to cost an arm and a leg, then the employer will do without you, whether you are young and old.

Youth unemployment is currently 16.1% in the USA (aged between 16 and 24). For youngsters aged 16 to 19 it is even higher (24.1%). In Australia youth unemployment stands at 11.5% (15-24 year olds). The same rates in countries like Spain and Greece are nearer the 60%-mark.  It is going to take a lot more than the €8 billion that was set aside last month by the EU to come to grips with that.

Just investing money or job-swapping will not change anything. Change the mentalities of people and their prospects in life will change too. Stop telling people that everybody should go to university and start reducing the taxes. Maybe, just maybe, it will solve the problem of the youth and stop saddling them with diplomas galore and nobody that wants to give them a chance on the career ladder.

About The Author

tothetick

Professional team of writers/analysts analyzing the financial markets.

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