More than half of young Spaniards are out of work, according to fresh statistics, signalling a lost generation that has been hit hardest by Spain’s economic woes, as the total number of unemployed surged above five million.
Young Spaniards complain that even a university degree leaves no guarantee of finding work
The number of 16-24 year old Spaniards out of work rose to 51.4 per cent in December, more than double the European Union average, according to a report by Spain’s National Statistics Institute. The national unemployment rate hit 22.85 per cent, the highest rate in nearly 17 years and the current highest in the industrialised world.
Spain’s young have been dubbed ‘generacion cero’ or ‘the ni-nis’ – neither in work nor full time education- and for many their only hope of seeking a better future is moving abroad, sparking fears of a brain drain.
“This is the least hopeful and best educated generation in Spain,” said Ignacio Escolar, author of the country’s most popular political blog and former editor of the newspaper Publico. “And it’s like a national defeat that they have to travel abroad to find work.”
When the crisis began in 2008, Spain’s under-25 unemployment rate was below 18 per cent but it has nearly tripled within four years as Spain’s housing boom collapsed and it sank into recession.
Young Spaniards are now living in the family home longer than ever before, pushing the average age of independence from their parents to well into their thirties.