"In most Arab countries, a majority of the population is under 30, and unemployment rates are exceptionally high for young workers, who are the most likely to rebel," economist Chris Lafakis of Moody's Analytics said in a report today, as masses gathered in Cairo's Liberation Square and Jordan's King Abdullah sacked the government amid mounting street protests. "In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, almost 90 per cent of unemployed workers are under 30," Mr. Lafakis said. "As evidence of the risk of revolution contagion, Syria's president has already signaled that he will push for more political reforms. The events in Egypt could also spark unrest in Sudan, a politically unstable country where demonstrations are already occurring and citizens have voted to partition the country."
I have been saying for years on this blog that two groups not often considered part of the classic definition of the proletariat, but in fact are, are women and youth.
Now we see with the revolt in Tunisia and now Egypt that unemployment and rising food prices have brought out both women and youth to demonstrate against the dictators who run their countries. In Europe and North America young people face democratic governments but the same crisis of capitalism, where the governments are now demanding austerity measures, cuts to public services, to pay for bailing out the capitalist corporations and banks.
'From sacking lollipop ladies and closing youth clubs to axing college grants and trebling tuition fees, this is a government at war with our young people and therefore at war with our future. It is betraying an entire generation,' said general secretary of the (British) University and College Union, Sally Hunt.
In Canada the youth unemployment rate is double the national average, and it is increasing not decreasing. The annual unemployment rate for youth in Canada is 14%.
And while more women are in the workforce than ever before they are older, not younger women.
Employment among women aged 25 and over increased in January (+55,000), with gains for both the 25 to 54 and 55 and over age groups.Over the past 12 months, however, employment growth for women was concentrated among those aged 55 and over.In the U.S. it is even higher and adds to further high unemployment stats amongst blacks and Hispanics.
Youth unemployment rates in all categories is an average of 18% in the United States, approaching Egyptian and Tunisian levels, but joblessness among young African-Americans and Hispanics are among the highest in the world. This poses a future political problem for the world’s richest nation.The US Department of Labor report in December 2010 broke out unemployment and participation rates into three categories: White unemployment is 8.5%, or below the national average of 9%; African-American is 15.8% and Hispanic at 13%.