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Guest Blog: Don’t Live Fast, Don’t Die Young
CNBC.com | February 22, 2012 | 12:28 AM EST

Unemployment is a terrible thing. Youth unemployment has knock-on pernicious consequences in the wider society that can last a generation.

Jobless levels have been coming down in the US recently, although we need at least two more quarters of continuing falls before we can feel optimistic, but in the European Union (Germany excepted) they remain stubbornly high. It is the number 1 issue for governments in the West, or if it isn’t it should be.

At the same time, workers are being urged to make greater provision for their retirement, and indeed to put off retiring until later in life. In the UK the retirement age has been raised from 65 to 67 for workers currently under 40, and in France it was viewed almost as sacrilege when the retirement age was raised from 60 to 62 recently. Pension provision is a major worry for workers and future liabilities are a major issue for governments’ welfare budgets.

Are these two issues connected? Some people think so. Journalists on the Financial Times and The Sunday Times, for example, have opined recently that high levels of youth unemploymentarise partly from the fact that current workers are not leaving to make room for them. Making employees delay retirement still further will only exacerbate the problem, they believe.

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