Borne ceaselessly into unemployment

December 1, 2014

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In October U.S. joblessness hit a six-year low while French unemployment hit an all time high. However, as this interactive map from the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows, France’s problems seem minor compared to some other regions of the world. Many parts of Africa and the Middle East suffer from far higher endemic unemployment rates, and that could qualify as the good news.

A look at this Reuters graphic unveils some abysmal unemployment rates for people under 25 in the Euro zone. More than half of Spanish and two-fifths of Italian young adults are out of work, and the average for the Euro zone as a whole is 23.4 percent. Data from the ILO show that unemployment rates for young North Africans are similar, while the numbers for the Middle East hover closer to 30 percent, with projections for both showing little hope for improvement.

A year ago, when the U.S. unemployment picture was even more bleak, Zachary Karabell posited in a Reuters column that high unemployment rates among American young adults can be attributed to the ambition and pickiness that millennials have become famous for. It’s safe to say that many young people in the the rest of the world do not have this luxury—and this, warns the ILO, bodes ill for global economic growth.

For the U.S. and much of the Euro zone, unemployment reflects the ebb and flow of the world economy, and the gradual recovery from the Great Recession is cause for hope. Many parts of the undeveloped world do not enjoy this advantage.



We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

This is such drivel- every 5 years they come out with this same crap. When I graduated high school in 1983 the media was saying it’s hard for college grads to get work. That was bull. What they MEAN, is that it’s hard for people to get non-skilled jobs that pay $20 an hour or more, or it’s hard for a punk with a degree to get his dream job right away.

Pay some dues, punks, you show you’re a hard worker and worth something to the company then you’ll get a good position, not before.

Posted by Factoidz | Report as abusive

The jobless figures are well engineered here with a combination of how they were counted combined with business split of 1 part time job into two, to skirt the benefits coverage mandate of ACA. Given the resources put into educating the American workforce, the ambition and selectiveness is not a luxury but a necessity.

With relatively impotent labor department in protecting local jobs, combined with free-trade, massive-overall-immigration authorizations and senseless dream-act, it’s a terrible shame the young and bright of the next generation was left somewhat clueless in finding meaningful jobs. This will eventually, come around the bite the businesses that were at the root of this problem, toward a meaningful correction over time.

Posted by Mott | Report as abusive