Who should get the bulk of your sympathy; the student who cannot get their first job or the older person who finds themselves unemployed with little chance of getting back into the working world?
There is a natural instinct for the public to have more sympathy for the young. As we know, where public opinion goes, politicians will not be far behind.
An analysis of official labour market figures covering the period July-September 2009 shows that older workers are finding it harder than any other age group to get back into employment after being made redundant. Fewer than one in five (18.7%) of over-50s find employment within three months, compared to more than 40% of 25- to 34-year-olds.
Long-term unemployment (six to 12 months) among the 50+ age group has also more than doubled over the past year.
It would seem that young people are having a much tougher time during this recession than they did in the past downturns. Those who don’t get into the labour market at the level of employment they deserve can suffer for years.
The bottom line is employment is the pits, irrespective of age. I do hope the political class do not get into a “young is more important than old” argument or indeed “old is more important than young”. The downturn impacts age groups in different ways. The assistance should be appropriate to their needs not to their age.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kieranbennett/3296113555/