Young people lack work experience and the financial and social resources to find employment. As a result, they are far more likely than other groups to be employed in non-standard and insecure jobs, regardless of their education and skills. The economic crisis in the EU since 2008 has worsened the labour market conditions more for young men (particularly those aged 15 – 24) than for young women, thus reducing the existing gender gaps. This is due to the recession strongly affecting the manufacturing and construction sectors, which traditionally employ mainly men.
Among young people aged 15 – 24, between 2008 and 2014, the employment rate for men declined by around 5.9%, while that for women declined by 3.8% (in 2014, the rate was 30.5% for women and 34.2% for men). Similar trends were also registered for the 25 – 29 age group (−4.4% for men and −5.8% for women, and the employment rate was 66.4% for women and 75.9% for men in 2014). The relatively larger decline in male employment rates has resulted in convergence among young people in this indicator, but in 2014 the gender gap was still present, particularly among those aged 25 – 29 (9.5%, compared to 3.7% among the youngest group, aged 15 – 24).
Youth unemployment rates are more than twice as high as they are for the total EU population. Following the financial crisis of 2008, the unemployment rate of young people (aged 15 – 24) in the EU-28 has sharply risen, by a little over 7% (from 15.6% to 22.2%), and remains high, particularly for men (+7% among men aged 15 – 24, compared to +5.8% for the equivalent group of women). Since 2008, the unemployment rate for young women aged 15 – 24 has been lower than the rate for young men (21.4% and 22.8% respectively in 2014). The rate is practically the same for young women and men aged 25 – 29 (13.7% and 13.65% respectively).