The Centre for Cities has predicted that the number of long-term unemployed young people, between 16 and 24 years of age in Britain, will rise from 130,000 in May 2009 to 350,000 by December 2011. Long term unemployed are those who have been unemployed for over a year.
The ILO predicts that there will be a total of 2.94 million people out of work by the end of 2011.
At the moment, 40% of unemployed people are between 16 and 24, and if that proportion is still the case, then 1.18 million young people will be out of work by December 2011.
Using the government’s claimant count the Centre for Cities calculates that 10 per cent of young people in Hull are unemployed.
This claimant count figure does not count the thousands of youth that the government have managed to drive off benefit and therefore is an understatement of the percentage of youth unemployed in Hull.
Using the same claimant count method it finds that neck and neck with Hull, Sunderland and Barnsley, typical northern cities, are the southern cities of Swindon and Milton Keynes.
Using just the claimant count Swindon youth unemployment has grown by a massive 800 per cent since the beginning of the slump.
Of the current ILO total of 2.26 million people out of work, 888,000 (39%) are youth aged between 16-24: an increase of 190,000 young people in the last year.
When the class of 09 leaves formal education this summer, an estimated 300,000 graduates and 400,000 school leavers will join the queue of people looking for work.
The reality which these figures represent is one where almost a million young people have had their lives destroyed by the crisis of capitalism. Many have to live off the pittance of the Jobseekers Allowance, others have to survive on no benefits at all.
There are hundreds of thousands of graduates, soon to be joined by 300,000 more, whose education and hard years of studying have been thrown back in their faces by the crisis of capitalism. This declares that the best that they can do is find a job with a fast food cheap labour outfit. They must forget their dreams and ambitions for the future.
Indeed the bourgeois order signals to these youth that there is only one place where they can be sure of a career, however short term, and that is the armed forces of the capitalist class.
The growing army of youth and graduate unemployed is being seen as a source of cannon fodder for Afghanistan and other battle grounds, where local populations are being slaughtered for oil, gas and profit.
Young workers and students have already begun to draw their own revolutionary conclusions about the capitalist crisis.
Namely, that if the capitalist order cannot further develop the productive forces for the benefit of humankind, and can only destroy them, it is a system that has overstayed its welcome and deserves to perish and be replaced by a higher order of society.
All over the capitalist world masses of young people are grasping that the only constructive role that the crisis gives to them is the opportunity to organise the working people of the world to carry out the socialist revolution.
Only the Marxist movement recognises this revolutionary vanguard role of the young workers and students.
In the Transitional Programme, Trotsky puts the matter thus: ‘The Fourth International pays particular attention to the young generation of the proletariat. . . Only the fresh enthusiasm and aggressive spirit of the youth can guarantee the preliminary successes in the struggle; only these successes can return the best elements of the older generation to the road of revolution. Thus it was, thus it will be.’
The News Line urges all youth to join the WRP and its youth section, the Young Socialists, to organise the British and world revolutions.