Just happened to see this article in the Scotsman which is certainly very disturbing. While the article is talking about Scotland and the UK I rather think it applies to other countries as well...

By Eddie Barnes and Scott Macnab
Published on Thursday 17 November 2011 07:13

THE growing social impact of widespread youth unemployment is leading to a mood of “despair and frustration” in Scotland’s young people, charity leaders warned, as the price of the economic recession hit home in shocking jobs figures.

As new figures confirmed that unemployment had risen by 5,000 in Scotland, and by 129,000 across the UK, there were warnings that a generation of 18-to-24-year-olds were “losing heart” with the system and saw no “meaningful future” in the country.

The price would be paid in increased levels of crime and drug abuse, charities warned, as they argued that – behind the statistics of increased unemployment – a social crisis was breaking out.

They spoke out as figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that UK unemployment levels had shot up to levels not seen since 1994, with 2.62 million people now on the dole. The figures includes one million 16-to-24-year-olds, although about 300,000 of these are classed as students.

In Scotland, the unemployment rate is now 8 per cent, lower than the UK figure of 8.3 per cent, but figures supplied by the Office of National Statistics showed yesterday that youth unemployment had risen here too, to more than 100,000.

This means that across the UK, one in five people aged 16 to 24 is now officially unemployed.

UK ministers said the sudden increase showed “just how much our economy is being affected by the eurozone”. In Edinburgh, Scottish ministers said the UK government had to deliver “real action” to boost growth by loosening the purse strings, in order to get the country back to work.

On the ground, however, there were warnings that the the recession-induced slump in jobs was having a major social impact on the young.

Susan McPhee, head of policy for the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) in Scotland, said: “We’ve been frankly shocked by the levels of frustration and despair we’ve found.”

She added: “When you get behind the statistics and actually talk to young Scots, you find that many of them feel they are paying the price of a recession they did nothing to create.

“They often feel they have no meaningful future, and that unemployment is having a devastating impact on their health and their state of mind, as well as on their economic life.”

Jim Wallace, acting head of children’s services at Barnardo’s Scotland, warned that lengthy spells in the dole queues were leading to “isolation and alienation” in the young.

He said: “They start to think, why care? You don’t believe you’re going to get a job. It sort of seeps in that there’s very little future for them.

“It can led to all sorts of problems that could increase the likelihood that they’re involved in crime or getting involved in substance misuse, things like that.”

Youth Scotland chief executive Carol Downie said: “It is not just about young people being unemployed now, but about what will happen to this generation in the future if they remain out of work.”

Laurie Russell, chief executive of the Glasgow-based Wise Group, which seeks work for people, said: “Right now, fears of a lost generation of jobless are becoming more and more real.”

The CAB said young people were being disproportionately hit by the slowdown, with the increase in youth unemployment rising at more than twice the rate for adults aged 25-49 and three times as much as for those aged over 50.

The CAB said even well-qualified graduates were suffering. “Recent graduates are having to fight for diminishing numbers of graduate level jobs, and as a result often have to take unpaid internships or minimum wage employment. This has a knock-on effect on other young people looking for work,” it said.

Of the increase in unemployment, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said last night: “The UK government is doing all it can to create growth and reverse this trend.”

He added: “The Scottish unemployment figures are a stark reminder that we cannot allow any let-up in our efforts to get the economy back to full health as soon as possible.”

But the SNP’s finance secretary John Swinney said: “The increase in the number of people out of work reinforces the urgent need for the UK government to deliver a ‘Plan MacB’ approach immediately, to ensure that the recovery being built in Scotland is not derailed by Westminster’s economic policy.”