Saturday, 23 July 2011

The youth unemployment scandal

Roger Kerr has blogged on the following graph from the recent New Zealand Institute publication "More ladders, fewer snakes: Two proposals to reduce youth disadvantage."

Kerr writes,
But the chart shows that it is New Zealand that stands out with youth unemployment being 45% of total unemployment, the worst outcome in the OECD.

Why are our political parties not talking about this appalling state of affairs? One reason is that many of them are complicit in bringing it about. The abolition of the youth minimum wage, sponsored by the Greens and Labour, is clearly a major contributing factor to the surge in youth unemployment. National in office has declined to reintroduce youth wages. The New Zealand Institute in its report also ducked the issue.
The Economist magazine has also noted that The ratio of youth to adult unemployment worsens. Their graph is

The Economist notes,
In New Zealand, Sweden and Luxembourg, the youth-to-adult unemployment ratio is more than four.
For the data used in the Economist graph the adult unemployment rate as around 5% with the youth rate at over 20%.

Kerr ends by noting that with regard to youth unemployment,
This conspiracy of silence on the subject is an indictment of New Zealand’s seeming inability to face up to grim social realities.

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