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Youth Unemployment in Italy Heads Towards 40%

Youth unemployment in Italy is fast heading towards 40%.  Making matters look even more gloomy is the fact that Italy is in recession.

On the youth unemployment front Italy is by no means alone as the following ISTAT/OECD figures reveal.

Europe’s Youth Unemployment in March 2012

  • Greece: 51.2%
  • Spain: 51.1%
  • Portugal: 36.1%
  • Italy: 35.9%

While the situation in Italy is nowhere as near as bad as that in Greece and Spain, now that Italy’s economy is officially in recession, the percentage may well increase in the coming months.

Better Management = Lower Unemployment

The youth unemployment situation is much healthier in what are generally regarded as being more efficiently run European countries:

  • Germany: 7.9%
  • Austria: 8.6%
  • Holland: 9.3%

Government Encouragement

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti is trying to make it easier for young Italians to start businesses, although now is not exactly the best time to fire up a new activity.  In the current economic climate, inexperienced entrepreneurs probably will not survive for very long.

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Another fly in Italy’s econimic ointment is the predominance of small businesses in Italy.  While small can be beautiful, it is not always strong.

Abandoned Generation

The worrying youth unemployment situation risks creating a kind of abandoned generation in Italy, and elsewhere.

The woes of Italy’s jobless generation will have long term effects on birth rates, consumer spending and tax income for Italy’s government.  Also worth keeping in mind is that the young fund the pensions of the old.

Batten Down the Hatches

Stormy times are ahead, one fears, unless Monti decides to cut taxes in Italy once he’s got all the government spreadsheets set up and can predict, more or less, what effects tax cuts may have.

Tax cuts may be a gamble for Italy, but sometimes you have to take a chance.

Oh and by the way, Italy’s mainstream politicians are still fiddling while Italy burns – they seem to live in another, surreal, world.

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