"We've Never Seen A Generation This Educated Also Be This Unemployed"


The quote above from from an Atlantic article about youth unemployment in the European Union. Not, thankfully, America.

But still, the picture in the EU is grim, and you have to wonder how much behind the curve America is on this front:

The EU unemployment rate set a new all-time high of 12.2 percent, according to today’s estimates. But it’s the youth unemployment crisis that’s truly terrifying. In Spain, unemployment surged past 56 percent, and Greece now leads the rich world with an astonishing 62.5 percent of its youth workforce out of a job. …

It should be noted that some people consider youth unemployment figures a bit hyperbolic. They prefer measures like “youth unemployment ratio, which takes the share of young people who are looking for work but can’t find it and divides it by the entire population. Last year, the EU’s youth unemployment ratio was 9.7 percent , less than half the youth unemployment rate of 23 percent.

But even the ratio fails to account for the millions of young people who have all but given up in their awful economies. There are 26 million young people in rich countries who are as “NEETS” (Not Employed, or in Education, or Training), according to the OECD.

Here’s the kicker: Despite high rates of college education, the EU kids just can’t find jobs:

Youth unemployment is bad for all the obvious reasons, including the big loss to future productivity and earnings. But Europe’s youth unemployment is strange, because we’ve never seen a generation *this educated* also be this unemployed. Nearly 40 percent of Spain’s 20-and early-30-somethings are college educated. In Greece, it’s 30 percent

Reading that, it’s hard not to think of America’s so-called “millennial generation” which are existing in a protracted state of adolescence even as previous generations crowd onto social programs like Medicare and Social Security which are going broke thanks to lagging revenues from younger generations.

“Every generation eventually sheds their most extreme characteristics,” Jason Dorsey of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a consulting firm in Austin, Texas, was quoted as saying recently. “What is different about millennials is delayed adulthood. They’re entering into many adult decisions later than ever before.”

In years past many have championed Europe’s, and to a lesser extent America’s, move toward an expansive entitlement state and lengthy matriculation through the various education systems. But now those things seem to be choking us to death, crowding the labor markets with over-educated children long on their sense of entitlement and short on work ethic.