The impact of Covid-19 on the labour market for young people in Europe

In addition to the tragic health impact of Covid-19, the pandemic has been accompanied by an equally dramatic economic and social crisis, the highest price of which in terms of employment is being paid by young people, along with other particularly vulnerable groups.

The European Union recently outlined that in the first three quarters of 2020, the youth employment rate fell by 0.8% in the 15-19 age group, by 4.1% in the 20-24 age group and by 3.2% in the 25-29 age group. Moreover, the current economic crisis would have led to a much faster increase in long-term unemployment among young people than among workers who have been in the labour market for longer.

Indeed, available data show that the unemployment rate among young people is significantly higher than that of the more adult segment of the population active in the labour market.

However, even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the so-called "problem of youth", which has now returned to the centre of the European debate, was based on vulnerabilities that are not only attributable to unemployment but also include the phenomenon of inactivity described by the acronym NEET (Not in education, employment or training). According to recently available data, the share of young NEETs aged 15-24 in Europe peaked at 11.6% in the second quarter of 2020, increasing by 1.8% compared to the same period in 2019.


The impact of Covid-19 on the youth labour market in Europe