Why Can't College Grads Find Jobs in Spain?


When I was reading about the origins of the recent Arab revolutions in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, I was shocked to discover that the protests were sparked, among other things, by the self-inmolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year old street vendor who grew so tired of high unemployment and harassement from Tunisian authorities that he took his own life.

The Tunisian situation is similar to the circumstances that Spanish youth are also facing: high unemployment and the difficulty of pursuing their dreams. Spain’s youth unemployment rates are double that of the EU (41.5% compared to 20.2%), a situation which has created a lost and desperate generation which experts have dubbed: Generation Twixter, Generation Ni-Ni (i.e. neither-nor), and Generation JASP (i.e. overeducated youth). Whatever the name, Spain is living through its deepest recession since the Spanish Civil War, over 70 years ago, and unemployment does not seem to be getting better.

While that was the case for them, not so for us. They should have said, “Even if you study, you won’t have a job." At this rate, current events will force us to face the opposite situation of our parents: a decline of our social position relative to our parents.

The situation has gotten so extreme that Germany's Angela Merkel has offered to recruit qualified young Spaniards to work in Germany as a possible way out. But, this is just a temporal measure that will not solve the problem and does not give Spanish youth the hope we need.

Photo Credit: agnesgtr