Youth Unemployment: A Global Challenge

By Glenn Ashton


All over the world the youngest, historically most employable sector of society is struggling to find secure employment. In China an estimated one third of college graduates are unable to get work. In Spain and Greece unemployment amongst the youth has risen above 50%. In South Africa it is possibly higher than this, even amongst high school leavers.

The elitist World Economic Forum termed the trend “a social and economic time bomb.” The impacts are exemplified by the Arab Spring where youth unemployment, combined with economic hardship and repressive regimes, resulted in revolution.

The same patterns exist everywhere – one in five youth in the UK and USA are unemployed. It is one in four in Sweden and one in three in Italy. In some Arab gulf states, the rate runs over 90%.

Global inequality is increasing; the rich get richer while the prospects of both the poor and middle classes diminish. A consequence is the increasing popularity of Karl Marx’s magnum opus, Das Kapital, so useful in analysing the flaws inherent to the dominant global corporate-led capitalist system.

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