Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Unemployment, Homelessness, and Debt: the Plight of the Young

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 9/7/12

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)

It is not a good time to be young. Our youth are bearing the brunt of the economic depression and its self-defeating solution of austerity and cuts. The future to them looks bleak; unemployment, debt and homelessness in various combinations, or all three beckon.   Of course these three scourges (unemployment-debt-homelessness) are linked.

Youth unemployment (16-24 years old) is now 20.7 % in the UK. The average across the EU is 22.4%, with Greece and Spain leading the misery index at 52.8 % and 52.7 % respectively.

A report entitled "Youth unemployment: the crisis we cannot afford" produced by ACEVO (Association of Chief Executive of Voluntary Organisations) puts the human cost thus:

"Unemployment hurts at any age; but for young people, long-term unemployment scars for life. It means lower earnings, more unemployment, [and] more ill health later in life. It means more inequality between rich and poor -- because the pain hits the most disadvantaged."

The report quantifies the financial cost as follows:

"The human misery of youth unemployment is also a time-bomb under the nation's finances. At its current rates, in 2012 youth unemployment will cost the [British] exchequer -4.8 billion (more than the budget for further education for 16-to-19-year-olds in England) and cost the economy 10.7 billion pounds in lost output. But the costs are not just temporary. The scarring effects of youth unemployment at its current levels will ratchet up further future costs of 2.9 billion pounds per year for the exchequer (equivalent to the entire annual budget for Jobcentre Plus) and -6.3 billion p.a. for the economy in lost output. The net present value of the cost to the Treasury, even looking only a decade ahead, is approximately 28 billion pounds ."

A study in the US on the effects of unemployment on crime concludes:

"We find significantly positive effects of unemployment on property crime rates that are stable across model specifications. Our estimates suggest that a substantial portion of the decline in property crime rates during the 1990s is attributable to the decline in the unemployment rate."

"Unemployment sucks. Youth unemployment sucks even more", as one business school professor puts it.

Faced with such personal, societal and financial costs, the response of governments has been at best complacent, but more accurately described as negligent.   You would think the scourge of unemployment would be prioritized and made central to any actions that are taken.   Instead, governments have put deficit reduction at the centre of their economic policy, and ignored its impact on society.  

It is no good saying the solution we are pursuing will in the long run produce the required result, not if it blights the lives of a significant number of our youth.   As someone said "in the long run we will all be dead".  

Moving to homelessness, according to figures published by the department for communities and local government, 48,510 households meet the definition of statutory homelessness in 2011, a jump of 14% on the previous year. Research for the charity Crisis, found that the vast majority of homeless single people are "hidden" and outside government statistics.    

If you are lucky enough to go to university you will be finishing your course with a debt of around 53,000 pounds.   With such debts, graduates will be reluctant to take additional debt in the form of a mortgage, and with the price of housing, most will not be earning enough to get a mortgage. Additionally, scarcity of affordable rented dwellings will force many graduates to live with their parents, thus delaying their entry into adulthood and independence.   What effect will that have on their self esteem, mobility of labour, and at what cost to the economy!

There is evidence that the rise in university fees is putting off students from modest and poor backgrounds, which will impact negatively on social mobility, thus deepening the income inequality and division in our society.   Reversing the rise is a good investment in Britain's future.

Investing taxpayers' money in massive building programmes of affordable housing would provide work for many of our young, and would help with labour mobility. It would provide for a basic need, and would prove cheaper to the taxpayer in the long run.

Loading most of the misery of the economic depression on our youth is morally wrong, economically mad, and eventually self-defeating.

 

Dr Adnan Al-Daini took early retirement in 2005 as a principal lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at a British University. His PhD in Mechanical Engineering is from Birmingham University, UK. He has published numerous applied scientific research (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Libyan revolution

The Pursuit of Happiness. America, live up to the ideals of your Declaration of Independence

The Obscenity of War and Military Spending in a World of Need and Suffering

The Power of the Media

Global Warming: Doing Nothing or Very Little Is Not an Option

Education -- Heading to Mediocrity for the Many

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
Why doesn't someone have the courage to speak up a... by Laurence Almand on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 3:38:19 PM
The article was talking about youth unemployment i... by lwarman on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 11:53:05 PM