Towards a Better Understanding of the Nature, Causes and Consequences of Youth Labor Market Disadvantage: Evidence for South-East Europe
Available studies show that the lack of decent work opportunities for youth is probably one of the most daunting problems faced by countries in South-East Europe (SEE). Yet, the lack of comprehensive, integrated and centralized databases on youth labor market disadvantage in transition countries in general, and in South-East Europe in particular, has usually been a major barrier for a comprehensive analysis of the problems that youth face in the labor market in the region. For the purpose of this study, an attempt was made to create comparable indicators of youth labor market outcomes for 10 regions of SEE, relying on 7 Labor Force Surveys (LFS) and 6 Living Standard Measurement Surveys (LSMS) conducted around 2001. These data show that more than ten years after the beginning of transition, and despite obvious signs of economic recovery in most SEE regions, the average youth unemployment rate in SEE remained 2.5 times higher than the EU average, and 3 times higher than the adult unemployment rate.