chapter  9
Youth Unemployment
WithKenneth Roberts
Pages 14

The spread of joblessness is a main recent change in the condition of young people: a consequence of the growth of non-working time. This chapter focuses on unemployment’s implications for leisure, but these cannot be divorced from who suffers unemployment, why, and how the victims feel about their circumstances. Commentators are virtually unanimous in deploring unemployment, especially youth unemployment. Politicians and the media dispute its inevitability and debate remedies, but agree that youth unemployment is a disaster, certainly in the short term, and maybe with life-long implications. While local youth unemployment remains at ‘modest’ levels, below 25 per cent, long-term unemployment remains the fate of a small minority. In urban areas, even with local youth unemployment at 30 per cent and more, job-seekers do not face completely blank prospects. There are always jobs being vacated to seek and apply for, though not necessarily through the statutory services.