The International Labor Organization (ILO) warns that fiscal austerity and short-term labor reforms, far from alleviating the crisis, are worsening the economic conditions and job markets worldwide. In its annual ‘Global Employment Trends for Youth’ report, published on Tuesday, the UN agency states that strong government policies are needed to lower the devastating global unemployment rates, which are expected to increase to 12.7 this year. The rise in the youth unemployment rate is the highest in the European Union.
The Party of European Socialists (PES) President Sergei Stanishev agreed with the ILO analysis, underlining that; “if the EU and the national governments fail to act, there will be no end in sight to the youth unemployment crisis. It is crucial to jump-start a sustainable job recovery and to enhance measures that can help boost employment generation. This is why the PES demands a 10 billion euro youth employment programme, which can create 2 million new jobs for young people by 2014”.
The PES also calls for a European Youth Guarantee, a “new social contract” that gives every young unemployed a job, an education place or vocational training after 4 months. This proposal could not come in a better time: between 2008 and 2011 the number of unemployed youth has increased by 26.5 percent.
PES General Secretary Philip Cordery said: “We cannot afford to lose an entire generation. Youth employment policies must have the highest priority and be effectively financed by state budgets, not only in order to lower unemployment but also to strengthen the working conditions. This crisis should not be an excuse to curtail the democratic rights of the citizens. A more social and progressive Europe is the only way out of the crisis”.