As the world thrives the 21st century, one of the key challenges in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, is battling with the unemployment levels in their countries. The scenario has left the citizens at the mercy of their governments to seek a solution. While some blame poor governance, the truth is the international economy is worsening and that leads to a decrease of job markets.
The Rising rates of Unemployment in the UK
Over many years, the United Kingdom has always taken lead concerning economic progress. The situation, however, does not reflect that in the current unemployment rate in Europe as well as in the UK. It is estimated that a fall in the population of the working class reached 63,000 as of the year 2014. Furthermore, out of the new jobs created in the UK, about 75 percent were assigned not to the citizens of the United Kingdom, but to the Europeans (Moffat & Yoo). Currently, the number of the non-UK citizen members working in the UK has reached 3.1 million, which signifies a threat to the citizens’ position on the job market. As of the year 2015, the Non-UK citizens contributed about 257,000 people in employment as compared to the citizens whose employment figures stood at only 84,000 workers (Moffat & Yoo). Even though the UK subjects contribute about 27,000 million employed workers in the entire United Kingdom, the rates at which they are lagging behind in new opportunities are quite shocking.
In the year 2015, the fall in the rate of employment was signified by a decrease of 63, 000 laborers as compared to the previous year. The UK citizens, however, suffered the most as they constituted the highest figure of the drop. According to the statistics from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the number of migrants getting employment opportunities in the UK has incredibly increased (Moffat & Yoo). The immigrants, however, cannot be eliminated because of the impact that they have on the entire UK economy.
Furthermore, the worsening unemployment levels are to a large extent attributed to the push for higher pay. It was expected that a drop in the number of jobs would see to it that the workers receive a very reasonable pay, but the same has led to both lack of employment opportunities and poor pay (Moffat & Yoo). For the people between the age of 16 and 24, about 73 percent are employed. Out of the same group, 22 percent are inactive on the job market, such cases constitute about 8.9 million people (Moffat & Yoo).
Between the post-war periods up to 1991, due to the recession witnessed in the UK, a slight improvement of only 12 percent growth in the unemployment rate had been witnessed. The areas that stood greatly affected by the rates are those that used to be formerly industrialized areas (Moffat & Yoo). From 1991 onwards, another recession occurred leading to a further increase in the unemployment levels up to 3 million people, which are a representation of about 10 percent. The worst kind of recession in the UK that led to a major retrenchment in the companies was the recession between the year 2008 and the year 2014 (Moffat & Yoo).
The leading cause of the occasional rising levels of unemployment in the UK today is a recession. Subsequently, they decrease during this period because the demand of the people is overwhelming as compared to the state income. Such a situation leads to what economists call market deficiency, which cannot sustain a society. In such circumstances, laying off some workers is, therefore, inevitable.
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The second cause is the restructuring of the Britain’s economy to venture into traditionally inactive sectors. An example is a shift from more manufacturing-related jobs to service-based employment (Moffat & Yoo). With such a change in the economy, a majority of the unemployed population is left out of the job market due to lack of the relevant expertise required in the carrying out a particular job. It is easier for a person to work in a manufacturing company as an unskilled laborer as opposed to the service-based economy where professionalism is needed. Thus, the youth comprises the highest number of unemployed people for lack of the necessary skills required for the job market. In addition, the geographical barrier is another drawback experienced mostly by the people of the Northern Britain, where they find it more difficult to move to the South in search of good employment opportunities (Moffat & Yoo).
The Unemployment Rates in France
Like many European countries, France has shifted from the manufacturing to the service-related industries that require a lot of expertise and skills. As at 2012, for example, the services sector accounted for about 80 percent of the entire population of the employed people in France (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). The agricultural sector is the poorest in France, as it constitutes only about 2 percent of the entire employed people in France. The industries, however, represent 18 percent of the job opportunities available. Accordingly, France only experiences an unemployment rate of 11 percent, which is quite commendable (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). It shows that 89 percent of the general population in France is on the job market. Out of this population, about 8 percent constitute foreigners or immigrants. Some of the factors that have contributed to the unemployment rates in France include high taxation rates, which force most companies to let their workers go for the sake of attaining profits (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). All in all, even though such taxation levels are beneficial as they allow the flexibility of France’s social security services, they cause an adverse impact on the general job accessibility.
France is one of the world countries with very few cases of unemployment. As of the year 2015, for example, it recorded an unemployment decrease by a margin of 10 percent from the year 2014 (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). The fall in the unemployment levels was reflected in all the groups of population and virtually all sectors in France. Today, therefore, about only 3.5 million people of the working class age are jobless. In a statement made to the newsrooms this year, the minister of economy noted that France was experiencing very high levels of unemployment, which lie at about 10 percent, thus he demanded urgent talks and reforms to ensure that the people of France did not suffer (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). Moreover, a lot of strikes and boycotts by the socialist movements are seen today in an attempt to push the government to eradicate the 10 percent unemployment gap. Such moves have been backed up by the French union movements that call for a law requiring a 35-hour work for the people in the employment sector.
The 10 percent unemployment rate in France reflects the highest in the history of the France, which signifies the economic collapse. Subsequently, analysts have identified some troubles in the French economy (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). The trend at which the unemployment figures are rising due to retrenchment is on the rise today. Some of the possible causes include the high debt experienced in France as compared to the production rates of the economy. That means that spending level is higher than its economy can sustain. The companies are also reducing the wages paid as a way of living up to their taxation demands followed by frustrating the workers. As at the end of previous year, Renault company, which is one of the leading industries in France, announced its intention of cutting down on the number of its employees by about 7500 to become more competitive (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). The company said there was a need for it to hire people with certain skills which their working staff did not possess. The same crisis is facing Peugeot, the second largest vehicle-making company in France, which also plans to lay off about 8000 of its workers by the close of the year 2016.
The youth category is the most influenced by the unemployment rates in France, whereas the age group between 15 and 24 is the most affected (Caliendo & Schmidl n. pag.). The rising levels of unemployment are economic in nature, and there is, therefore, the need for the government to come up with a comprehensive plan of rescuing the economy to boost the companies. In brief, however, the high rates of unemployment in France are majorly caused by the recession, switch from industry-based on service-based economy, and high rates of taxation. Other causes include the high state debt leading to a poor economy and the lack of the necessary skills by a majority of the members of its population, especially the youth.
The Unemployment Levels in Germany
So far Germany is the country with the lowest levels of unemployment, unlike France and the UK. Eurostat, for example, has estimated it to be at about 5.3 percent, which is exceedingly low (Heise & Moersch 260). Most economic commentators claim Germany to be one of the most stable and promising economies in the world. The labor market is quite job-enriching and gives hope of the future security against unemployment. In its future plans, Germany wishes to fully eradicate the unemployment levels within its borders. The country further boasts of its low youth unemployment rates that currently stand at only 7.9 percent (Heise & Moersch 353). Within the rest of European countries, the youth unemployment between the ages of 15 and 25 stands at 23 percent, which means that Germany is way ahead in creating a zero tolerance to unemployment (Heise & Moersch 431). The current education system in Germany plays a crucial role in the provision of internships and jobs to the young generation. The country has a two-tier education system comprised of the vocational training and education that aims at building innovativeness on the labor market. Most graduates, therefore, are fully equipped with the knowledge required to launch their businesses for the sake of employing other people.
The above discussion, however, should not be taken to mean that Germany presents perfect employment status. For instance, there are geographical disparities when it comes to securing a job. People living in Northern parts of the country complain about the unemployment rates. The job market in Germany is also quite discriminating as according to the academic qualifications, as graduates in applied sciences stand a better chance for employment than the ones with a qualification in other fields (Heise & Moersch 340). In addition, those with vocational training are also more likely to get employed than the ones without it.
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Germany is one of the countries that should be emulated by most nations in the world when it comes to matters of employment. As in 2005, for example, the rates of unemployment in Germany were similar to the ones in France at 11.3 percent (Heise & Moersch 344). Germany has, however, managed to make a turnaround despite the tough economic situation brought about by the recession witnessed in the year 2008. Some of the reasons for such a result include initiatives by the government to boost the flexibility of the market and the education system, which became skill-based as opposed to merely passing information to the students. Further, Germany encouraged a strong chain of industries that thrived on innovative solutions to make them more competitive around the globe. All in all, with such kind of a foundation driven by the competent personnel produced from the education system, Germany seems ready to eliminate unemployment and even supply its graduates to foreign countries (Heise & Moersch 345).
In conclusion, the European countries, whose economic development is rated high in the world, are struggling with elevated unemployment rates. In the paper, Germany, France and the United Kingdom were analyzed regarding their status and means that they employ to raise the level of the economy, enrich the labor market, and lower the amount of unemployed population, All things considered, mentioned countries have accommodated different approaches, which let Germany reach its low rate of unemployment, which stands at 5.5 as compared to France, whose rate is 11.3 percent. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is struggling, as it has been severely hit by the unemployment within its borders.