Friday, July 10, 2015: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
S13 (13 rue de l'Université)
South European (SE) countries have been hit hardest and longest by the “Great Depression” that followed the 2008 global financial turmoil. The employment crisis and poverty risks are major problems confronting these countries. Over the last few years reform options under harsh austerity have drastically rolled back social and labour protection, in-work poverty has been on the rise, while fast growing unemployment has aggravated the risk of long-term social exclusion (particularly among the young, as youth joblessness has reached record high levels in Greece and Spain). Signs of recovery in Spain (and Portugal) indicate the exit from recession, however particularly Spain continues to suffer badly from unemployment and precarious work. Greece and Italy are still in the doldrums of depression and, mostly in Greece, the outlook for jobs remains bleak.
In the long and hard road to recovery the biggest challenge for all four SE countries is how to tackle the employment crisis and recast their “broken” welfare programmes in a sustainable and inclusive way. The papers in this session critically review the magnitude and profile of the job crisis in the region with a main emphasis on youth labour markets. They map vulnerabilities in terms of gender and disadvantaged NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training), comparatively examine the family-work interface, and bring into focus welfare and labour market reform strategies framed as “social innovation”. Highlighting the barriers to and prospects for inclusive job-rich growth in SE constitutes a common thread that runs through all five papers.
Philippe D. Pochet