The economic collapse caused and is still causing a stunning global youth unemployment problem. Worldwide joblessness among young people is so great that it’s equal to the entire population of the United States, a figure which is pegged at more than 320 million.
Since 2007, youth unemployment has risen about one-third (30 percent). This is disastrous and could come with global implications, according to some experts. There are a few reasons as to why young people can’t find jobs in today’s economy and can be attributed to:
– Minimum wage laws
– Employment insurance
– Government regulations
Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, argues that unemployment for teens and young adults represents a much large global problem. He discussed the topic Friday at the World Economic Forum where he predicted that there could be upheaval if youth can’t find employment opportunities in their respective countries.
“Seventy-five million [young] people [globally] are unemployed, do not have the opportunity to work at the moment. That’s bigger than France. It’s a terrible thing when people are coming into the workforce in their late teens and early 20s and don’t have opportunities to create value,” said Kent. “If we’re not successful in creating better opportunities, I think there’s a real danger that the social peace and fabric of the world is in danger. It’s the obligation of government, it’s the obligation of civil society to come together to find solutions.”
Kent then called for collaboration between government, business and civil society to come up with a solution to this issue.
Although Kent is indeed correct about a potential collapse in society, he is incorrect about turning to government to solve the problem. As noted earlier, it’s due to various bureaucratic regulations and government interferences in the marketplace that has left young people without jobs.
Even the Bank of Spain realizes this as it urged the federal government to suspend the minimum wage for youth. Spain suffers that second-highest youth unemployment (56 percent) next to Greece, which maintains a 62.5 percent jobless rate. The current minimum wage in Spain is 645 euros ($835).
In the United States, it has become common for youth to attain a college degree, leave school with immense student loan debts and either jobless or working at a low-wage, low-level position that is completely different from the field they studied in.