Unemployed Youth: The Lost Generation



High youth unemployment is a defining characteristic of the current recession. Despite the so-called recovery, a fifth or more of young people under thirty remain unemployed. In most countries, youth joblessness is triple the general unemployment rate. In some regions with harsh austerity regimes, youth unemployment is increasing.

In the US the preferred approach to youth unemployment, both by government and the media, is to ignore it. Elsewhere the attitude towards youth unemployment is mixed. In Europe, the European Commission has appropriated $1 billion euros to address youth joblessness. Yet only Germany and Switzerland have come up with real solutions.

Pundits offer a variety of explanations for the stubborn problem of youth unemployment: globalization (i.e. jobs moving to the third world), automation (i.e. replacement of jobs with robots), the greed of baby boomers who refuse to retire (greasing the wheels for social security and pension cuts) and government policies that allow billionaires to suck all the money out of the economy for their personal pleasure.

An increasing number of economists see youth unemployment as symptomatic of structural economic changes related to the end of global growth. Despite all the corporate media babble about perpetual economic growth, the phenomenon is actually quite new. Prior to the harnessing of fossil fuels by the industrial revolution, all human civilizations were based on steady state economies.

Of the three documentaries below, the first, from Canada, is the best. Portraying youth unemployment as a permanent structural problem, it’s highly critical of the Canadian government for refusing to address it.

The four important points Generation Jobless (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2014) makes are

1) by 2030 half of all the current jobs will be gone
2) the “lost generation” (the 20% of Canadians under thirty who remain unemployed) is highly unlikely to ever land permanent good-paying jobs
3) Canadian universities are training young people for obsolete jobs instead of offering them new skills needed in the present economy.
4) Canada’s student loan program is a fraud – students are pressured to take on vast amounts of debt on the promise of good paying jobs that don’t exist.

The film disputes the frequent claim that a large aging population is a drag on the Canadian economy – the real drag on the economy is the underutilization of Canadian youth. This has drastic implications for the future health of the Canadian economy. Most of a society’s wealth comes from the skills of its workforce.

This first documentary also highlights two examples of programs that are successfully cutting youth unemployment, one at the University of Regina (UR) in Saskatchewan and the other in Switzerland.

The UR Guarantee program, which promising all entering students will be placed in a job on graduation, has a 97% success rate. From day one, the curriculum for all students includes career counseling and career education, consisting resume writing, interview skills and networking. Students also participate in an apprenticeship program in their chosen field, thanks to a cooperative agreement UR has with local businesses. Finally, they get a guarantee: any graduate who fails to find work in six months returns for an extra year (free of charge) to further hone their skills.

In Switzerland, youth unemployment is 2.8% (roughly a tenth of other industrialized countries), thanks to a high school program that allows them to start an apprenticeship at fifteen. The Swiss Employers’ Association helps local high schools set up their apprenticeships, which include white collar fields, such as health care, banking and IT, as well as the traditional trades.


The 2013 BBC documentary Young and Jobless is less hard hitting. Unlike the CBC documentary, it fails to emphasize the failure of the British government to acknowledge or address the problem of youth unemployment. In fact, it tends to trivialize the problem by comparing superficial snapshots of youth unemployment in different countries.

That being said, there’s an excellent segment about lawsuits American young people have filed (and won) against corporations that have exploited them via unpaid internships.

I was also intrigued by the number of countries that deal with youth employment by encouraging young people to emigrate (as we do in New Zealand). In Spain, for example, there are specific programs to assist Spanish youth in locating jobs in the UK. In contrast, Irish youth are encouraged to emigrate to Australia.


Video 3 Young, Jobless and Living at Home is a 2014 BBC documentary about the “boomerang generation,” the growing tendency of young people under thirty to move in with their parents, either because they can’t find jobs or because they can only find low paid, part time and/or temporary work that doesn’t cover their living expenses. Radio DJ Grey James follows six unemployed youth for six months.

The statistics say it all: in 2014 20% of young Brits under thirty were unemployed but twice as many (40%) were living with their parents.


photo credit: Caelie_Frampton via photopin cc


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.
Previous articleObama: Iran to be very successful regional power, Press TV
Next articleExpert Advice For A Startup Business In Auckland
Dr. Bramhall is a retired American child and adolescent psychiatrist, activist and political refugee in New Zealand. Her first book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led her to leave the US in 2002. She has also published two young adult novels about political activism: The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable View All Books by Dr. Bramhall >>> She is involved in the national leadership of the New Zealand Green Party and has a political blog at StuartJeanneBramhall.com


  1. I remember many years ago watching Leave it to Beaver and Beaver stole a cigarette.
    A half hour show in which Beaver got caught out and it was explained to him the error of his ways.
    Simple TV but a real situation that normal parents may have encountered in the 60,s.
    The world has changed for the worse.
    It may sound silly but the young people of today through no fault of their own are lost because they have been programmed by the Zio,s and their media to think and act as they do.
    But they don,t know it, because to them it,s normal.
    We have lost our youth and I don,t think we,ll get them back.

  2. Eaglehaslanded below is absolutely right. As jobs were silently allowed to go overseas by the wonderful traitor Clinton, it crippled cities like Detroit and others. But behind all that there was a silent abandonment of American citizens who had given their lives to the corporations. This was how William Jefferson Clinton did his part in crippling this nation. His part in contributing to the NWO. The damage by NAFTA was to be permanent. By the time the damage hit, Clinton would be long gone. GATT turned us into the ducks during duck hunting season. We didn’t see the blinds.
    Good post Eaglehaslanded. Bush announced the NWO. Clinton did his part, and here came the unelected moron son with his wars on false claims, mission accomplished BS, and only a Bush could’ve permitted 911. Under the last four presidents, the United States of America has not come first. To me, they are nothing but traitors. We probably would run them down the streets and out of town if we knew what they had done. With this mainstream media protecting their lies and criminal behavior, we don’t know, and will not know. History is beginning to show the damage done by Bush/Clinton/Bush/Oblunder. Great post Eaglehaslanded.

  3. Well-said, Allesandro re: “The Greatest Generation.” I don’t think they even think they’re “The Greatest Generation.” It’s a clever marketing campaign to keep them quiet while “honoring” them in a condescending way and “legitimizing” WWII as something that, well, “just had to be done.” At the same time, this campaign diminishes the sacrifices made by other veterans of so-called “lesser” wars — especially the Vietnam vets — who, as it’s been pointed out, logged the most battlefield hours and therefore faced the most danger, of any of them.

    I question the accuracy of this — “the greed of baby boomers who refuse to retire” — and think it’s more like “the inability of baby boomers to retire due to financial system manipulation.” Lots of baby boomers would like nothing more than TO retire, but are forced to work later and later in life just to be able to pay the bills while those that manipulate the system enjoy lives of perpetual vacation and leisure. By the time many can finally retire, they’re too old, sick and feeble to even enjoy it.

    It’s a disgusting cycle that only gets worse due to the unquenchable greed of the “dreadful few.”

  4. Good article and comments. The unchecked Hispanic immigration intended to increase profits with cheap labor mirrors Rockerfeller Fund successes in union busting with immigration of Southern blacks into Northern cities in the 40s. Conservatism in America, which should stand for subsidiarity and a comfortable living wage for all productive labor, now exists to destroy these principles in the name of the American Dream, where only corporations and predatory psychopaths need apply for gov support.

  5. Very good Jack. I’ll be 56 this Sunday. Recruiters tell me my “marketable rate” is $25 – $30/hr. However, so far this year, I can’t do much better than $15/hr, and that is part-time. As little as 10 hours/week, has been the average. This is in Texas. (Austin and Houston). I’m an IT engineer. I have been living with the folks for the past 2 years. One cannot make a living at $15/hr part-time.

    There was a time (1996-2002) that I was doing really well. Nice house, new cars, new boat, Amazon Prime, etc. Doing the same as I’m attempting to do now. I was at that $30/hr rate. Plus, nice travel, training, education reimbursement, $1.00/gal @ pump, nice bennies, et al. (with less the skill set / experience I have now) Lost it all. Even the lake for my boat is gone (Lake Travis, Austin). WTF happened here? (aside from outsourcing, Enron, 9/11, etc.)

    Oh, and I did participate in the Fracing Fantasy in 2010 as an E-Tech. Made $7500/mo. (at the cost of up to 120 hrs/week) Just did that for the summer in Laredo, in 120 heat, swinging a 6 lbs. sledge at times. Why did I have to resign? I was 52. I lasted longer than some less my age. Safety protocols were worse than the Marines in early 80s.

  6. The boomers , altho they have their egregious faults , did not advance a long standing conspiracy of ancient origins against the US middle class — the contemporary International Zionist Crime Syndicate ( aka the Global OCC and originally called the *** Synagogue of Satan *** ) did and continues to promote it .

  7. The “Greatest Generation” my AZZ, they were brainwashed into WW2, and Bush & Company gave us all a “Sales Pitch” on them being the Greatest Generation.

    I don’t think they are any better or worse than any other Generation. It was propaganda by the Bush’s to get NEW young men to join the military services after 2001, and prove themselves worthy of their grandparents sacrifices.

  8. The system of USURY by the Central Banks and their minions, was designed to expropriate ALL Resources and intrinsic capital of all sorts, and funnel it to the top tier of society. A long 250 year + plan, that goes back much further, before the Rothschild’s present incarnation has been in place. They are just the most recent administrators, par excellance.

    The only problem is NOW people worldwide are becoming aware of the end game (which we’re in) and see through the planned inevitable takeover, designed into the system from the beginning, and resisting it.

    The elite are trying to give out MORE crumbs while still keeping the essential plan in place, just delaying it. I think that’s why gas prices are falling, to placate us temporarily. They can’t grab all that’s left, at once, so we’re getting MORE crumbs for now. People worldwide are resisting this elitist take-over.

    We will NOT let the .01% take away 90% of all wealth , luxuries, services, fun, pleasure, sex, etc. and enjoy it in our presence, leaving us with next to nothing, it’s NOT natural and WILL NOT be permitted.

    The plan the elite had was flawed, no-one will except poverty in the extreme while the wealthy enjoy unlimited health, welfare and joy as we suffer for crumbs. Legal or illegal appropriation of all goods and services by the elite is NOT excepted by the 99.99%, and will be taken away or destroyed. There is NO force on earth that will secure their position.

    It will be expropriated en-force.

  9. You are correct. Foreigners have stolen our jobs. And the people who let this happen deserve to be treated as traitors. It will not be pretty from here onward I’m afraid to say. I’m for peace but peace is not on the horizon. Americans who have tried to be fair are backed into a corner and I’m afraid they will start behaving like caged rats. And the same for Europe and elsewhere. Rocky times ahead in spite of great technological advances. Any way for grass roots movements in multi countries simultaneously to cancel the world debt? If nations did it together to the tune of 50-100 trillion then maybe we could work a miracle and collapse the invisible Rothschild rule. Oh what a dream!

  10. They need a war to kill them all off. Sure the elite is planning it. Because angry people with nothing to lose are dangerous. There’s this weird gamergate thing – the media portrays it as misogny running wild – but if you look at the facts, it’s young people angry at a media that can’t stop lying. Too bad it’s focused solely on media lying about games and feminism (the scandal was started because a feminist allegedly slept with 5 game journalists) and isn’t about 911. But who knows where it’ll lead? Things change.

  11. Outsourcing of jobs, check, replacement by mechanization, check, Billionaires sucking the very life blood from the economy, check, incompetence in the educational system and its infiltration by organized crime style usury euphemistically called “student loans,” check. But overwhelmingly the primary cause of joblessness amongst the wests youth is unchecked immigration from third world country’s. I’m 55 Dr. and every job in America that used to be done by young people in the eighties and even the early nineties is now done by a Central American or a Mexican. Does it make me a racist to point that out? Then so be it!