Generation J(obless): A Quarter Of The Planet's Youth Is Neither Working Nor Studying

Tyler Durden's picture

We recently discussed the 'dead-weight' problem of youth unemployment in developed economies. The Economist estimates that the world's population of NEETs (not in employment, education, or training) is a stunning 290 million - or around one-quarter of the world's youth.

Sadly, many of the 'employed' young have only informal and intermittent jobs. In rich countries more than a third, on average, are on temporary contracts which make it hard to gain skills. Young people have long had a raw deal in the labour market.


Two things make the problem more pressing now. The financial crisis and its aftermath had an unusually big effect on them. Many employers sack the newest hires first, so a recession raises youth joblessness disproportionately. The number of young people out of work in the OECD is almost a third higher than in 2007. Second, the emerging economies that have the largest and fastest-growing populations of young people also have the worst-run labour markets.

Why is this so important? A number of studies have found that people who begin their careers without work are likely to have lower wages and greater odds of future joblessness than those who don’t. A wage penalty of up to 20%, lasting for around 20 years, is common. The scarring seems to worsen fast with the length of joblessness and is handed down to the next generation, too - leading to a vicious cycle that weighs on growth dramatically.

Countries with the lowest youth jobless rates have a close relationship between education and work. Germany has a long tradition of high-quality vocational education and apprenticeships, which in recent years have helped it reduce youth unemployment despite only modest growth. Countries with high youth unemployment are short of such links.

Companies used to try to bridge that gap themselves by investing in training; today they do so less.

Mismatch and training gaps may explain why over the past five years youth unemployment in flexible economies like America and Britain has risen more than in previous recessions and stayed high.

It is hard to be optimistic about a problem that is blighting the lives of so many people.


With a stunning 71% now expecting to work in their 'retirement'...

It would seem the opportunity for the jobs and wealth transfer to the younger generation is being blocked by a generation hamstrung by an increasingly repressive Federal Reserve.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
LetThemEatRand's picture

Not good to be old or young, or middle-aged, in today's global economy.  

McMolotov's picture

Those charts absolutely reek of peace, stability, and good times to come...

HeavyShadow's picture

Yes. good invetsments for the young would include:

  • personal firearms
  • firearms training
  • developing skills for an agrarian lifestyle
  • horticulture training
  • bush skills
  • martial arts
  • training in the farming and slaughter of livestock
  • Steam Engines 1.01

Dark ages are upon us and time waits for no man... Everyone for themselves...


LetThemEatRand's picture

By "bush skills" do you mean being born as a Bush or as a Busch?  Either skill results in exceptionally good pay and a guaranteed retirement of ease, as I understand it.

McMolotov's picture

I've got mad bush skills, or so the ladies tell me.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Fishing skills.  Good addition.

Precious's picture
"Neither Working Nor Studying"

... but they are really good at World of Warcraft and texting.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"good at World of Warcraft and [se]xting."

So the youth will be good politicians.

krispkritter's picture

As far as I can tell, the 'yutes' of today are too busy filming themselves jumping off garage roofs onto plastic tables lined with flourescent tubes, getting concussions skateboarding off50 foot high concrete stairs, or tossing themselves off bridges using static lines, incorrectly I might add.  Bullish for ER's and insurance company premiums...

AssFire's picture

Given ribbons and trophies just  for participation, these kids think they are the shit... Confidence, no they do NOT lack that...

In fact they are both the stupidest and most overconfident generation ever. I pity my children in college on scholastic scholarships that they must take care of not just their own children, but the nation's idiot children who never grew up and their (usually illegitimate) children as well.

The removal of Darwin's Laws has created shit.

Yen Cross's picture

   Legendary in their own minds.

  *not all of them

Manthong's picture

Sweat copper, weld steel, join wood, bend EMT, know E,I and R..  stack silver..

Trade paper.. not so much

markmotive's picture

If it's any consolation, Pabst Blue Ribbon sales are going through the roof!

LetThemEatRand's picture

They didn't get the blue ribbon for nothin.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

"Employers sack the new hires first"

a) If you say sack when you mean fired, you're probably European.

b) In 'Merica, we fire the more expensive older workers first and hire younger cheaper labor.



Bring the Gold's picture

You know...the WW II generation said much the same thing about the boomers when they were young. Of course, unlike the back pating jackasses in this thread, the WW II generation actually you know SAVED THE WORLD.


This is in stark contrast to generation fleece (1946 to 1964). Instead of saving the world, the boomers fleeced the fuck out of it by living in the wealthiest country in the world during the single easiest time in human history to make money doing NOTHING but being born. They then sold out offshored and raped the fuck out of everything they claimed to believe in back in their hey day.


Unless you are an ass busting Generation Xer (OH yes the boomers talked shit about us too but we are the most productive generation EVER) you should really shut the fuck up. if you want to see who ruined this country take a long hard look at the wrinkled dude in the mirror.

Bring the Gold's picture

The truth hurts eh downvoter(s)?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Didn't downvote you, but generalize much?  Funny how humans are tribal even about generations.   

Harbanger's picture

He's not blaming the entire generation, he's blaming the hippies. :) 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Are you a cartoon in real life?

Raymond K Hessel's picture

BTG, I've been saying this for ten years!


I like that Generation Fleece!!  Boomer was always too self-congratulatory...ha!  just like they're whole fucking generation!!!


I rember when I was young and thought I knew everything.  I was born in 1962 asswipe and you don't shit about me and what I have done in my life.  You want to indict specific people for specific crimes or abuse of the system fine, but your generalizations smack of know it all nothing

Bring the Gold's picture

I don't know you and maybe you AREN'T like the majority of that generation. *IF* you are the exception to the rule then BRAVO. You are a bright light amongst a sky blackening plague of locusts.


I was replying to someone who was denigrating the most fucked over generation in the history of the post industrial United States. That is to say the millenials and those who come after.


I'm a Gen-Xer myself and count myself lucky - and it IS LUCK - that I was born RIGHT before the door slammed shut. As it is I will never enjoy the wealth my parents had. I work hard, pay taxes (Which sucks) and raise a child. I have a college degree and work to provide for mine and vote and act in ways to support those who will come after me.

You know what is different about your generation and the three prior to it? The three prior generations all replied to the question "what do you intend to leave for you children?" by saying "As much as I can, my legacy is important to me." You know what boomers roundly poll as saying? "I plan on spending it all before I die."



It was the disenfranchised youngsters that all these asshats were mocking as they sit there counting their fortunes and laughing at those who have less when they never had a chance in the first place due to an economy gutted by your generation. My mother is also of your generation and is one of the hardest working most ethical women I've ever met. I should have been more specific baby boomer MEN and even that isn't fair as some of you were quite awesome and did a lot for people.


Speaking as a generation? Pretty much a swarm of locusts. Of course it was a broad sweeping generalization it was in response to some smug motherfucker up above complaining that the disenfranchised youth dared to be enjoying the one thing they can do which is have fun and fuck. When you are unemployed and the future looks like a nightmare and you are young what else are you going to do? Most young people I know would damn near kill for a job. They aren't lazy they have NO JOBS TO WORK AT. It's like mocking a cripple for his inability to stop LeBron James in the low post. STFU and get out.


Hengist's picture

As a Gen X-er having been married to a Baby Boomer myself the women can be just as evil but that's probably me being biased.  The trouble with the boomers is that they are not one generation but two lumped together how can someone born in 1964 have anything in common with someone born in 1946.  The ones born after the war became the hippies the ones born in the 60's were still playing with toys.

YC2's picture

My boomer mother leached off her parents her whole life, hardly working. When times got hard she stole her kids college accounts that her parents set aside for us. Then she told us to take out loans because she would pay us back when she got her inheritance. Then when times got hard she took the money that we borrowed right out of our accounts. Now my grandparents have been in the ground for a few years, the stock market is at all time highs, I've been paying on 50k of debt, which I would not have taken out without her assurances, for 8 years, and I haven't seen a dime of what i was promised and I'm completely screwed for having trusted my boomer parents . It's like they assumed that my parents would make everything ok like their parents did for them, without taking into account that THEY were the parents now and they are deadbeats.

So yeah, fuck that whole generation and if you think it's unfair that I generalize then fuck you.

Harbanger's picture

Much of it is the result of political correctness in the 90's and the changing values. Add a little medication for the smart kids that wouldn't get in line and you have a large percentage of perfectly maliable numbskulls. In reality it's not their fault, it's that the system is not interested in producing critical thinkers, it's interested in more sheep.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Right, because in the '40's and 50's they were cranking out the free thinkers.  I pledge allegiance....

Harbanger's picture

 If grandpa only knew that in the '40's and 50's they were cranking out the radicals. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Free radicals?  Must've been nice to be free but pledge allegiance....  As a child.  Say it with me freedom fries.  I pledge allegiance, to the flag, ....

Harbanger's picture

The only hope for the future of our children is to get them out of that god forsaken public school system the liberals and democrats created.  Say it with me socialists suck.

LetThemEatRand's picture

So you went to private school?  

Freddie's picture

The youth in America are becoming more feral by the day.  Hope & Change.

mattgallis's picture

Sounds like your youth sucked a big one

Popo's picture

Yeah, well tell your hairy friends to enter the 21st century and trim that shit.

Yen Cross's picture

    Do you have a "Death Wish"? Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea, the ‘Sex Superbug,’ Is Not Worse Than AIDS - The Daily Beast

   I like my hedges trimmed, but it's not worth dying for!

otto skorzeny's picture

You gals could join the military-if you don't mind be raped. 

HeavyShadow's picture

Yeah, you're right, starting or joining a local militia should be in there at some point I guess. But i think bringing some skills to the table is not a bad idea. Should keep the daggers at bay in a nuclear winter.

Sam Clemons's picture

Isn't that part of the plan? Looks like everything is going according to plan. 

Son of Loki's picture
America's richest counties


By Tom Van Riper of Forbes

In the age of the government-industrial complex, life is good in suburban Washington, D.C. The area accounts for six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S., according median-household-income data from the Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates from 2011.

Rainman's picture

You forgot to list that pesky ' involuntary servitude ' to the Army that's popped up every so often for centuries.

krispkritter's picture

For some, the reality is flying drones for TPTB, .GOV, etc.


Drone Age: US kids allured by UAVs, college courses in demand


Welcome to Drone (yo)U...

Groundhog Day's picture

I'm waiting for the Bernanke speech on how it's all the old people's fault for not retiring causing all the harm to the youth.

SAT 800's picture

The basic reason Europe made progress, or invented progress, really, which was a new concept at the time; was the Black Plague; which didn't just kill off one generation, which is not good enough; it kept on killing for hundreds of years. Isaac Newton was forced to retire to his mothers farmhouse in 16xx to excape a resurgance of the plague two hundred years after the first great dying off. This lack of population caused people to be valuable; basic supply and demand. they could get paid in money wages, instead of just food. It made productivity and invention economically important and caused the entire revolution of the technological/industrial age. China had plenty of people; people were cheap; so why bother? Africa had plenty of pleople; so why bother? At the present; it's impossible to maintain a national economy significantly more prosperous than the nations with wall to wall shoulder to shoulder population. After the great dying off there will be opportunity for those who have real money and real, (geneticially determined) IQ's, and real ambition. Once again, Darwin will triumph. It's important now for those in a position to create a family dynasty to choose the right landmass in which to sit out the great dying off. Growth is over; there will be no growth. We're just in the initial stages of the great crash caused by the dream of printed currency; hedge accordingly.

freedogger's picture

Yep, and the robots haven't even had their turn yet.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"neither working nor studying."

Sounds like my college years.

HardAssets's picture

Well several of my young relatives are freshmen in various colleges. None of them are learning anything worth a damn . . . so its pretty much like the rest of their public 'schooling' experience.

For most of them, its a place to party, fill their heads with meaningless drivel, and waste precious resources that their families will need in the future. They will probably end up as waitresses or bartenders after getting their degrees.

Spigot's picture

Hopefully it is dawning on more and more people (and hopefully the young) that being "jobless" may be a blessing in disguise. If you can't GET a job, THEN you can MAKE a job (for yourself). Its called being a start up. I'm serious. "JOBS" are dead ends. Your guts and energy become someone elses profit. The residuals of your labor and thinking (IE - real, enduring wealth) accrew to the benefit of others. Being a startup, independent business, business owner, etc means that ALL of your labor and thinking DIRECTLY is to your benefit. If I work for my own needs, supplying them via my own effort, I am MUCH better off.

For instance: if I "work" for someone and get 100 units of currency, but have to give up 50 units to taxes and insurance, I get only HALF the benefit as a wage. I take my 50 units of currency into the market place. The people I buy from have exactly the same problem, they have to charge DOUBLE in order to afford to get their 50 units of currency out of 100. Hence my 50 units of currency end up only getting me 25 units or real goods/services due to this endemic parasitic bleeding.

But if I work for myself I getting 100 units worth of goods and services, or 400% more than what I was getting before in terms of value. A person "subsisting" on their own labor, being "jobless" can (theoreticly) be 400% MORE PROSPEROUS than a person with a "job". You do not pay taxes on things you do for yourself.

Cobra's picture

The problem with that is the lack of skill the kids have these days. They don't know anything about skilled trade, or business for that matter. They can play the fuck out of a video game, though! Seriously, half of these kids can barely read or do simple math thanks to "no child left behind." They just get thrusted through school...