Greece, young people at risk of poverty since 2012

In these hours Greece is protagonist on the EU scene, but the crisis, problems, austerity meausures started already years ago. Already in 2012 50% of the young people were unemployed. The rate of inactivity, NEET who do not work nor study, doubled between 2007 and 2013, it became more than 20% , the highest percentage in Europe. While the EU 2020 target is 10%.

One out of two young people were at risk of poverty already in 2012

The numbers of young people in Greece are worrying, according to a study by the European Parliament that analysed the youth situation before the last elections in 2015. The rate of employed young people it decreased three times than adults: from 55,2% to 1.5 %. In particular Greece in the first quarter of 2013 achieved the level of 59.9% of youth unemployment. Thanks to a light improvement in the labour market, the youth unemployment rate decreased by a few points at the end of January 2015, 50.1 % . Yet still more than twice the unemployment rate in 2008, 21%. In January 2015, 1.2 million of people have been estimated to be unemployed, in a country of approximately 11 million people. Greek and Spanish youth are those who most suffered the crises, if we look at the pre crisis levels. According to the data, in 2012 50 % of young workers were unemployed and one out of three of unemployed had been without a job for a long period, more than one year. Furthermore, it is difficult and expensive to try to insert again people who have been unemployed for a long term. Poor are not only elderly or retired people but young couples with children. In 2012 45% of young people have been at risk of poverty compared with the EU average, 31.4 %. Even if the unemployment rate in 2013 started to decrease, it cannot be said the same regarding poverty. With the adjustment fund meausures Greece reduced the minimum wage by 22%, from 751 euro to 586 euro. While for the under 25, the minimum wage has been reduced by 32%, falling to  511 euro. While also the underemployment is increasing : the number of part time workers went up from 5% to 11%. It is not only the crisis that defined this drama in the life of young people.

According to the study also before the recession the youth employment in Greece showed weaknesses. The transition between education and job market has been slow and  inadequate : workers quite often do not achieve the requirements. Also the training are not so good and there is not a real cooperation between universities and the job market. Also the Employment public service achieved few results. Between 2001 and 2011 Greece have n high percentage of over qualified workers. Greek universities prepared students for  limited sectors, in general the public sector and independent professianals. Even in Greece a gap of workers in ICT sector exists. Furthermore regarding the different levels between regions: in 2012, for example, all the regions in Greece matched the requirements to be eligible to receive funds  for the Youth Initiative, which are destinated to regions with more than 25% of youth unemployment. Neets had until now only  occasional jobs or seasonal jobs, while before the job market in Greece has been one of the most regolated before the last reforms. Compared with the rest of Europe high qualified people and with a university degree were already at high risk of poverty and unemployment and of becoming NEET , but with the recession the situation got worse. Women have been the most hit from the recession and their rate of unemployment is the highest in Europe, but the are more mobile than men. The majority of young Greeks, 87%, feels to be marginalized in the country because of the crisis . Looking at this dramatic situation more than one out of two young greeks , 51% compared with 26% in EU, would like to receive some training or to look for a job abroad.

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