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Young and old: Counting those seeking work

by on January 28, 2013

Spain has consistently featured as one of the countries worst affected by youth unemployment over the course of the economic downturn.

The BBC reported in this piece last week that youth unemployment in Spain had reached 55% and its overall jobless rate is 26%, twice the rate of other EU countries.

One of the problems with reporting jobless figures for age groups at either end of the working life is that the transitions into and out of work are not clear cut. As the BBC article reports, jobless figures include the ‘economically inactive. For youth ‘unemployed’ this includes students who may not be seeking work. Similarly, how should we report those over 60 or over 65 who are unemployed and job seeking when some in this age group may be fully retired?

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