The Great Debate UK

A two-speed economy for Europe’s youth

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By Kathleen Brooks. The opinions expressed are her own.

A new dimension to the currency crisis is upon us. First there was the two-speed growth – with richer, predominantly Northern European economies performing well while the weak south was on the cusp of recession. But in recent months an even more worrying divide has started to emerge in youth unemployment.

In Spain the number of under 24-year-olds out of work is 50 percent, in Italy nearly a third of young people are without a job and in France the figure is a quarter.

However, in Germany youth unemployment is expected to sink to record lows over the coming months and is currently well below 8 percent.

If you are a young person in Germany your prospects for work and the future are brighter than they have been for generations. But for their peers in Spain things have never been worse.

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