Youth and work, a fighting duo

If in a favorable economic context the youth unemployment rate already doubles that of the global population in any European country, with the onset of the covid crisis the incorporation of young people into the world of work has become a real odyssey. “They have a real problem because the labor market is virtually stopped, there is no temporary employment and even less indefinite,” warns the professor of labor law at the University of Barcelona (UB) Jordi Garcia.

The data is unquestionable: there are currently 105,500 young people aged between 16 and 24 in Catalonia who are unemployed, according to the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS), for the third quarter of the year. That’s 22,100 more than when the pandemic began. In other words, one in three young people in this age group looking for work is unemployed (34%), when in the first trimester, just with the outbreak of the coronavirus, this percentage was 28 % i only a year ago stood at 23%. Another example that the doors of the labor market are practically locked are the jobs that are expected to be created for this Christmas campaign and that are normally occupied by young people. According to a study by the consulting firm Randstad, 42,320 contracts will be generated in Catalonia, a figure that is 38% less than in the same period of 2029 and which means that it will return to the level of 2015.

Will the announcements in recent weeks that the coronavirus vaccine will soon arrive will reactivate the world of work? For Garcia, recovery will be slower than is being communicated. “Until the population increases consumption will not be encouraged, because the Catalan economy depends mainly on services and tourism,” he makes clear.

Two job search promotions

In this regard, he warns that the generation that is now trying to enter the world of work will face two major problems. The first is that those who have finished their studies last year will spend a year in white, and when companies reactivate their work when it comes to staff selection, this penalty will penalize them. That is why García recommends that the group continue to train, even with complementary activities. “It’s the only way to have more value for a job when everything returns to normal,” he says.

The other problem is that if it is confirmed that the recovery is slow, the promotion that ended last year the studies with which it will do so this year will accumulate at the doors of the labor market and, therefore, it will cost more to find a job. .

Within the pessimism, however, the professor of the University of Barcelona recalls that this is not the first crisis that has been experienced in the last two decades. “They always end up being overcome, which is unknown, and more in the context of this strange health crisis, is when it will be achieved,” he concludes.


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