Youth Unemployment Figures Show Lost Generation; Time to Break From Austerity Madness

Figures from the CSO yesterday show the impact of the economic crisis and the failure of the austerity strategy of the government and the Troika. The unemployment rate at the time of the Census in 2011 amongst 15-19 year olds was 59% – up from 26% in 2006. Amongst those aged 20 – 24, the rate was 35% in 2011, up from 13% in 2006. these are the people truly bearing the burden of the bank bailouts.


Joe Higgins, United Left Alliance TD said,

“The continued high rate of unemployment, at nearly 15%, means that there is little prospect of a job for many young people. The erosion of demand in the domestic economy – a continuous decline of consumer spending and of employment in construction, manufacturing and retail – caused by cuts in public spending and tax increases on average earners, means that young people have very few oppertunities to get a job. Most of them are on reduced benefit, and are dependent on parents for accomodation. Meanwhile their parents are being hit with tax increases, such as the household tax”.

Richard Boyd Barrett, United Left Alliance TD said,

“With almost 80,000 young people unemployed and 70,000 gone through emigration, we are looking at a lost generation of Irish youth. The choice is clear. We either continue on the Fine Gael-Labour-Troika route of pouring bailout money into the banks and finance industry, with the prospect of long term poverty facing young people, or we cease payments to banks and bondholders and put resources into job creation in the domestic economy. The first step on that route is to break from the cuts strategy of the last and future budgets, and to tax the wealthy”.