The number of young people in the age category 15–24 years who are active on the labour market has fallen sharply since 2001. In the second quarter of 2005 over 100 thousand fewer people in this age group were employed than in the second quarter of 2001. Unemployment among 15-24 year-olds has risen by about 50 thousand in the same period.
Labour market position of 15-24 year-olds
Fewer young people active on labour market
The population of young people has increased by more than 60 thousand since 2001, to nearly 1.95 million in the second quarter of 2005. 43.9 percent of young people are active on the labour market. In the second quarter of 2001 this was 48.2 percent..
Most of the young people who are not active on the labour market are still in education. This number has grown substantially.
Persons active on the labour market 2001–2005
Fewer vacancies for young people
The number of vacancies for school-leavers dropped sharply in the period 2001-2004. In 2001, 74 thousand jobs were available for young people, in 2004 this had dropped to 13 thousand. And while the total number of vacancies did increase in 2004, the number suitable for school-leavers fell further. The small number of vacant jobs for starters on the labour market, combined with high unemployment make it difficult for young people to find a job.
More young people in education
More and more young people are still in education. The number of 15-24 year-olds in senior vocational training rose by nearly 6 percent between 2000/’01and 2003/’04, and the number in higher education by more than 9 percent between 2001/’02 and 2004/’05. Many young people are discouraged from looking for work because of the unfavourable situation on the labour market. The fact that young people delay their start on the labour market has a downward effect on youth unemployment, and thus also on total unemployment.
Aldert Boonen and Remko Hijman