Youth unemployment is one of the major macroeconomic problems in the OECD countries. High youth unemployment rates are a significant concern mainly because joblessness affects housing market, inflation outlook and demographic picture. Persistent unemployment rate means less purchasing power and a strong downward pressure on prices.
According to the latest data for 21 OECD coutries, the highest youth unemployment rates (15-24 years) in the fourth quarter in 2009 were in Spain (43.6 percent), Slovak Republic (31.9 percent), Ireland (29.1 percent) and Hungary (28.8 percent). The labor market outlook in Spain is very worrisome given the fact that almost half of the young population is jobless. Spain's youth unemployment is almost 4 times the youth unemployment rate in Germany (10.2 percent). The OECD forecast a growing unemployment rate until 2011, which means that current unemployment figures could get worse in the coming years. The lowest youth unemployment rates were found in Netherlands (7.6 percent), Norway (8.9 percent) and Korea (9.4 percent).
Youth Unemployment Rate in Q4:2009 in OECD
The biggest difference between youth and adult unemployment rate was in Sweden where youth unemployment rate was 4.3 times higher than adult unemployment rate. Similar differences were found in Norway and Luxembourg (both 3.87). The smallest differences were found in Germany (1.42), Portugal (1.96) and Denmark (2.03).
Youth-to-Adult unemployment ratio in Q4:2009 in OECD