Steve Crabtree and Anita Pugliese: “The scarcity of good jobs has been one of the most troubling aspects of the economic crisis facing southern Europe, particularly for younger people with little job experience. In 2013, nearly half of 15- to 29-year-olds in six southern European countries are underemployed — meaning they are either unemployed or working part time but wanting full-time work. Though the unemployment rate is the labor market indicator that typically grabs headlines, underemployment may be almost as damaging to younger people in terms of their own long-term prospects and their countries’ labor productivity. Temporary and part-time jobs are those most often available to young people, and they are often the first to be laid off because they lack seniority. Underemployment rates are much lower among southern Europeans aged 30 to 49 (26%) and those aged 50 and older (24%). Economic hardship may help explain why it is not feasible for many underemployed youth in the region to drop out of the labor market. In most southern European countries, young people have been increasingly likely to say their standard of living is getting worse; in Cyprus and Greece, well over half now respond this way. Many who are unemployed may continue to search for jobs to claim unemployment benefits…”
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