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Long-term unemployment rates rising for young people

Some young workers are becoming stuck into long-term unemployment, with little future perspectives. In addition, long-term unemployment has overtaken short-term unemployment.


20 July 2010 11:48 PM


Josep Molina / CNA
Barcelona (CNA).- In the last 2 years, the crisis has put 400,000 workplaces in Catalonia out of business, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA). This figure is the result of the accumulation of 9 consecutive trimesters of rising unemployment, with the exception of the 2nd trimester in 2009, when the unemployment slightly went down due to seasonal reasons. While this information is already widely known, a detailed analysis indicates a difficult solution. In the case of young people, many have fallen into long-term unemployment, data that is “worrying” according to the professor of Applied Economics of the UAB, Josep Oliver.
For the first time, the number of registered unemployed for over 1 year is more than those who have been without work for less than 6 months. During the 1st trimester of 2008, the total number of unemployed in Catalonia was 290,800 people. Of these, 60,300 people were registered as unemployed for over a year, around 20.74% of the total number. 172, 600 people registered as unemployed for less than 6 months, 59.3% of the total. During the last 2 years of the crisis and recession, long-term unemployment figures have risen. According to data published by the Active Population Survey (EPA) relating to the 1st trimester of this year, 242,500 unemployed for less than 6 months were registered, representing 35.86% of the total unemployed. The total of unemployed people for more than a year rose to 252,800 people, 37.8% of the total amount.


For the professor of Applied Economics, this “entrapment” into long-term unemployment, especially among people under 29 years old, is “very worrying”. Oliver believes that professional training of those expelled from the job market requires strengthening in the intervention of public policy, starting with the construction sector, where 150,000 jobs were lost. Oliver explained that when young people with very little work experience have gone through long-term unemployment, it is easy to loose the skills and capacities acquired while on the job. This makes young people’s journey back onto the job market “very difficult” compared to an adult who has accumulated more skills under their belt.

A wave of unemployment

Josep Oliver thinks that job market situation in Spain and Catalonia that put many young first-time workers out of a job during the beginning of the crisis is moving unemployment like a wave, where people are becoming trapped into long-term unemployment. Oliver considers this wave of young unemployment something that is “not easy to come out of”.


  • An office of the Catalan Public Employment Service, SOC

  • An office of the Catalan Public Employment Service, SOC