Youth Unemployment: Response To Matt Cavanagh


Employment, European Union

Cavanagh's New Statesman blog employs a well tried technique commonly known as the "straw man".

Apart from various disobliging remarks, it is largely devoted to showing that there is no statistical evidence that immigration causes youth unemployment. Indeed so. We made the point ourselves.

He also says that the recession was a major factor. We said that too.

But what we do not believe is that the arrival of 1.5 million enthusiastic young workers from Eastern Europe (of whom 600,000 are still here) has had no effect on youth unemployment – especially given the wide acknowledgement of the difficulties that face econometrics in isolating such effects within the labour market. To describe this as "blaming immigration" is simply absurd.

We do indeed have a very serious problem over youth unemployment. That, we suggest, calls for a more measured approach to the issues involved.

9th January 2012

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