Over half of all youth in Spain are unemployed, raising anew concerns that Spain’s economic woes may lead to a ‘lost generation.’
Unemployed youth in Spain hit 51.4% in December 2011, double the European Union average while the national unemployment rate was at 22.85%, its highest level in 17 years and according the The Telegraph, “the highest in the industrialized world.” This generation has colloquially been labeled generacion cero – those who neither have jobs nor are enrolled in education or training.
To draw contrast with the dire situation of Spanish youth employment, when the 2008 world financial crisis began, youth unemployment was at 18%. This delay in paid work has pushed back plans for independence and have resulted in more youth remaining at home with their parents. An International Labor Organization report stated that mass youth unemployment in Spain could have negative long-term consequences such as: “Increased crime rates…drug use, moving back home with the parents, [and] depression.”
Public consumption of alcohol has increased, resulting in a police crackdown on the popular youth practice of botellon while others have involved themselves in protest movements like Los Indignados – the Indignant ones. Among popular complaints include the lack of jobs, opportunities, and the value of a university degree in this climate.