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Recently, the market learned that youth unemployment in Italy hit 40% in April to go along with...

Recently, the market learned that youth unemployment in Italy hit 40% in April to go along with a 36-year record high of 12% overall unemployment. Never fear though, Italy's trade union CGIL is out with its estimate of when the Italian economy will recover pre-crisis (un)employment levels: 2076, a mere 63 years from now. (original article)
Comments (39)
  • BruceInKY
    , contributor
    Comments (437) | Send Message
     
    And yet we read news reports that Italian youth find pizza making beneath them and prefer that those jobs be filled by immigrants.
    2 Jun 2013, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
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    Fascinating -- got links to those news reports?
    2 Jun 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • nasdaq99
    , contributor
    Comments (114) | Send Message
     
    bernanke is drinking gen x's milkshake. drinking it all up. market won't go anywhere for ten years once this blitzkrieg of money printing runs it's course.
    2 Jun 2013, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Seth Walters
    , contributor
    Comments (676) | Send Message
     
    If making pizza paid the same wages as the typical jobs available 20 or 30 years ago to this segment of the populace, I don't think you'd have too much difficulty filling those pizza making positions.
    2 Jun 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • BruceInKY
    , contributor
    Comments (437) | Send Message
     
    So they just don't work and let immigrants take the jobs out of spite?
    2 Jun 2013, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8692) | Send Message
     
    Add in the same in the rest of the EU.
    2 Jun 2013, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (3012) | Send Message
     
    63 yrs is a long time to wait for a job
    2 Jun 2013, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • Rickthegeek
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
     
    Hey, don't worry about it, our beloved fed will find a way to send Italy some cash somehow, someway. This will be called Italy-quanitative easing 1. And, the fed will have to run the presses for 2 continuous shifts each day, one shift for the good old USA and 1 shift for Italy. Once the other in the PIGS start to fall then it will be 3 shifts, 24/7 money printing. Full steam ahead.
    2 Jun 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • Rickthegeek
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
     
    Oh, by the way, buy stocks. Sell GOLD.
    2 Jun 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • Ron Myers
    , contributor
    Comments (256) | Send Message
     
    And I thought "lost decade" was bad...
    2 Jun 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (454) | Send Message
     
    Making pizza is hard work and requires skills.Quite possible these youths are not qualified for this job.If sipping wine and sun-tanning were professions,then most would be employed in Italy.
    2 Jun 2013, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • yliu54
    , contributor
    Comments (171) | Send Message
     
    I don't think it is more difficult than finishing a 5-year PhD degree.
    2 Jun 2013, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • the_value_vulture
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    I think its realistic to assume that the unemployment situations in Europe as well as in the US are quite structural. This isn't going to go away and enduring some painful times are the only way we are going to get through this. The long term problems being created with all this money printing and borrowing campaigns are very real and delaying the inevitable. The leaders of the world really need to understand that we need a big reset in our expectations for our future living standards. Only then can we really begin to build on a solid foundation again.
    2 Jun 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    It is indeed very likely that it is structure, and that it will only get worse.

     

    The reality is that between machanized automation and information automation, we just don't need as many human beings anymore:
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    And couple that with reduced demand, etc -- you have quite the big mess from an employment perspective.
    2 Jun 2013, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Meet the new Luddites.
    2 Jun 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    On the contrary Tommy, I think everyone should be all for automation. I just think we need to be conscious of what large-scale automation does to the previously established structure of society.

     

    We can do more things with less people, increasingly at a pace never before achieved -- and arguably that's great -- but the question is: then what do we do with all those unemployed people?

     

    Let them starve? Turn them into slaves? Train them? (to do what?) Put them to work? (doing what?) Maybe we have them dig holes and fill them in again in exchange for subsistence? Implement population controls to reduce the number of people overall?

     

    It's a tricky issue. You can't just let people be idle their whole lives, but at the same time, we're going to have more and more people in the world, but less and less productive things that we "need" them to do.
    2 Jun 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • the_value_vulture
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    D_Viriginia,

     

    I think you bring up some great points. Honestly, the whole issue with the loss of factory workers and higher paid jobs lost to automation is one of the more serious challenges this country continues to face.

     

    A lot of people fail to realize that not everyone is made for college. So what they say. Just go to trade school! Well what if those positions are filled to? In my area they are! With the government lending out money willy nilly to anyone wanting to get a four year degree not only are they inflating tuition costs, but are driving individuals that don't even have the skill sets to succeed straight to the classroom. So now not only have these people failed to get their degrees but are now saddled with more debt. The exponential surge of delinquent college loans is yet another byproduct

     

    The point I am trying to make is that mass automation for better or worse has put a large portion of the population permanently out of higher paying jobs. Those that can't do the college thing (and shouldn't) are now left with much fewer options ... live with a lower paying job (if you can find even that) or for a little less let welfare lead the way.

     

    The solution? I don't have one, but the current path is going to lead to larger and larger portions of the population joining those on the lower end of the economic scale. The ramifications of this on already overextended social programs as well as society should not be ignored.
    2 Jun 2013, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • Alex_G
    , contributor
    Comments (1124) | Send Message
     
    TVV, automation is the unstoppable 3rd industrial revolution, creating 2 classes: Educated/entrepreneurial and those that service them. There will be very little in the middle...
    2 Jun 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2286) | Send Message
     
    Unemployment situation in China is perking up fast too. So you think they are immune.

     

    Tons of bright-and-starry eyed new science and technical graduates are mushrooming up from their not-so-few number of universities and colleges.

     

    The new Chinese youth are finding their they are over-trained and over-educated for the jobs that are available. China's industrial strength is flimsy and the hype of higher education promise is overblown, much overblown.

     

    The college educators and the party bureaucrats have taken their commissions and are scotch free!
    2 Jun 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    Right -- even if we had a generation of all rocket scientists, there aren't enough rocket scientist jobs for them all...there aren't even enough minimum wage jobs for them all.
    2 Jun 2013, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (1112) | Send Message
     
    Clearly as automation takes over more and more productive jobs, the demand for output has to come from somewhere. Otherwise we'll have a bunch of machines making things that nobody can afford to buy, and that won't last long. We may be at a historical turning point.

     

    Alex G is onto something. The service people will have to be paid very well in order to keep production running. There's certainly nothing wrong with a 20 hour workweek if productivity advances so much that one can make as much in 20 hours as we did in 40. Also, shortened careers. Both these trends have already happened if you compare today with say 100 years ago.

     

    Would it be possible for a person to select a working career life of say 10 years and then leisure or self actualization after that? So far, our answer to significant advances in productivity via automation have been to create "make work" so that we keep people from being couch potatoes all day long. Some examples of "make work": the war on drugs, war on terrorism, schools & human teachers vs the internet, welfare to work, Dept. of Homeland Security and most of the governmental agencies expansion that has occurred over the past 50 years.

     

    We ignore and resist the trend toward mechanization and improved productivity by creating this pretend work to keep people busy. But we can only resist for so long and then it will be forced upon us with no preparation. It would be better to prepare, I think. Preparation in the form of well thought out policy and education to help people deal with these trends.
    2 Jun 2013, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    The premise of this discussion needs to be examined. DV summarizes it well with this comment:

     

    "We can do more things with less people, increasingly at a pace never before achieved"

     

    Is that really true? I am skeptical. At one point in time we were all farming or hunting for a subsistence lifestyle and that evolved dramatically. Was there anything more disruptive than the cotton gin? The horseless carriage? Where did all the blacksmiths go? Look around at all the people whose last name is Smith? What do you think they were doing back in the day?

     

    Underlying all these changes is innovation and when government stops it then you end up with the USSR, the PRC and such pathetic output that everyone starves. The biggest threat to future prosperity is not innovation and mechanization but government preventing progress.

     

    This is no different than the Lord of the Castle ensuring that he made all the decisions in the Middle Ages to keep the peasants plowing and paying him rent. Look beneath the covers and the same mechanisms are at work. That is one of the reasons jobs and capital have been leaving the US.

     

    The freedom of the US economy over the last 200 years has completely transformed the world in so many ways. Autocratic governments have failed over and over and the US has plowed on. During the Revolutionary War the British soldiers were astounded at the standard of living of Americans. We have been successful because of freedom.

     

    Putting all that aside innovation needs to become the centerpiece of the US economy and extolled which will lead to new industries. Then the government needs to let the benefits of that innovation live here by not penalizing it and trying to shake everyone down. Example I just looked at a car rental receipt and 6 line items were related to government taxes totaling about 30% of the bill. And I thought I was just renting a car.

     

    From an economics point of view it is quite simple. From a political point of view it is not. It requires giving control and the spot light to the populace not some bureaucrat who knows nothing but power mongering.
    2 Jun 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    As always, some people read one thing and somehow think it says whatever they want to rail against. That's okay, people's love of straw men is one of the things that make them fun. :-)

     

    First, yes, we can indeed do more things today with less people than ever before. I would say that's a simple fact.

     

    Perhaps we haven't had any truly massive disruptions since the Internet (which I would say was indeed more disruptive than the cotton gin, on an economic basis), but there have certainly been a steady stream of evolutionary advances, and some of the potentially revolutionary ones are starting to come of age: big data, additive manufacturing, etc.

     

    Innovation certainly /is/ good, even great. But like everything else outside of a platitude-filled world, it can also have real negative consequences that should be addressed. The early auto makers probably never thought cars would kill tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone, for example.

     

    "Innovate 'em all and let the Freedom Juice sort 'em out" probably isn't the best plan to address such negative consequences.

     

    Regardless, we have yet to begin to think about the fundamental policy question: what should you do with all those people who get displaced by that innovation? Wait, let me guess: stick one's tongue out at them and wave from the back of the modern equivalent of one's horseless carriage? :-)
    2 Jun 2013, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1602) | Send Message
     
    Somewhere in this trend one has to wonder what happens to the end markets for the goods and services that the educated, entrepreneurial produce with automation and software. Consumers with incomes are required to buy the stuff.
    2 Jun 2013, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > Consumers with incomes are required to buy the stuff.

     

    Precisely. Once upon a time when there were disruptive innovations like the "horseless carriage", we also had some forward thinkers like Henry Ford, who realized that it was in everyone's best interest to pay his employees enough to buy his products.

     

    Today? Not so much...
    3 Jun 2013, 07:29 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    All this hand wringing over innovation and displacement of workers is old news. We have transformed the economy several times in the past 200 years and UE in the past 50 stayed fairly reasonable.

     

    What was more innovative the internet or the fax machine? How about deregulating the telco industry? The cotton gin led to more productivity but more slavery? Isn't that disruptive enough?

     

    The burden is on you to prove that there is anything new under the sun and that we cannot possible succeed because of X, Y or Z. History looks to be against you but I am open minded to hear you out.
    3 Jun 2013, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1602) | Send Message
     
    No disagreement, John Henry vs. the steam drill. Innovation isn't going to stop. There are always dislocations. The question is whether it will work out and produce a healthy economy. That's not necessarily a given. Unions didn't just appear out of thin air, neither did socialism or communism. If the present structure fails, some other system will eventually develop. Unemployed, educated young people are politically dangerous, particularly when they are connected. Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, now Turkey. China can't depend on labor intensive methods forever, FoxConn is now automating. Henry Ford's welfare capitalism?
    6 Jun 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Your statement: "The question is whether it will work out and produce a healthy economy."

     

    Is the same question that has been asked for 100's of years if not thousands.

     

    Thus far the US economy has shown a remarkable ability to adapt when government is out of the way. It is stressful at times but then I consider the stress of living under an economy controlled in every way by government bureaucratic elites which will not cede power for decades until starvation is at the doorstep.

     

    The countries you mention are controlled economies or at minimum bound by government and lack of opportunity is the result.
    9 Jun 2013, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1602) | Send Message
     
    Thomas. The question has arisen since the industrial revolution, which is where unions, socialism, communism came from. I don't quite agree about getting government completely out of the way, it certainly didn't get out of the way in the aftermath of the great depression. China has been an interesting lab experiment. Lack of regulations has certainly produced a lot of wealth for a few, but also a lot of problems with corruption, tainted food, industrial pollution and dead pigs floating down the river, sort of resembles the US early in the last century.
    10 Jun 2013, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Hendershott

     

    That question goes way back before the Industrial Revolution.

     

    The government did get involved in raising taxes during the Depression which contracted the economy.

     

    China is a repressive unelected and corrupt government with total control of their people. They are the regulator and the regulation. So centralized control does not yield good results. Thanks for expanding the point.
    10 Jun 2013, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > The government did get involved in raising taxes during the
    > Depression which contracted the economy.

     

    To digress a bit in the name of facts...

     

    Tax rates were raised in 1932 after several years of depression.
    In the same year, unemployment stopped skyrocketing.
    In 1932, unemployment finally began to decrease, and kept decreasing for several years.
    In 1933, GDP finally began to increase, and kept increasing for several years.

     

    Specifically, unemployment:
    in 1929: 3.2%
    in 1930: 8.9%
    in 1931: 16.3%
    in 1932: 24.1%
    in 1933: 24.9% (leveling off)
    in 1934: 21.7% (decrease)
    in 1935: 20.1% (decrease)

     

    GDP (in recent-year dollars):
    in 1929: $103.6 billion
    in 1930: $91.2
    in 1931: $76.5
    in 1932: $58.7
    in 1933: $56.4 (leveling off)
    in 1934: $66.0 (increase)
    in 1935: $73.3 (increase)

     

    Highest marginal tax rates:
    http://bit.ly/12CNhI8

     

    So it is a thoroughly false implication that raising taxes correlated to a contraction the economy. (Certainly, other forces were at play: government spending rose and government debt as a % of GDP rose.)

     

    History doesn't change just because some might want it to.

     

    Facts: good. :-)

     

    Vague platitudes: bad. :-(
    11 Jun 2013, 07:15 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Having a trade union come out with any estimates is suspect at best. But perhaps they are running the economy. How is that working for anyone?
    2 Jun 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • 5967241
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
     
    To be frank, Italians are nearly doing everything to keep the unemployment rate low. The latest of the actions being -- handing over €500 to every of the 300 illegal African immigrants plus a free travel ticket to Hamburg(Germany).
    2 Jun 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • rcray
    , contributor
    Comments (178) | Send Message
     
    The unions have done such a great job protecting people that already have a job that companies cannot afford to hire any new employees unless absolutely necessary. The other side of this union 'protection' is that if someone hates their job, hates the boss (or vice versa), wants to move to a new city,... they can't afford to quit because all the labor rules have absolutely destroyed the labor market. There are almost no job openings.
    They would have to get rid of all the employee protection rules and all the union provisions, and the unions will fight to the death to prevent that (some university economists have been assassinated for suggesting such things). Italy and most of the rest of Europe will continue to run themselves off a cliff.
    The good news is that Obama and the Democrats want to establish the same system here so our unemployment can skyrocket too.
    2 Jun 2013, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • PR Conservative
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Developed economies would never reach full employment again, time to grasp reality. Excluding economies with very high natural resources quantities above their internal needs.
    2 Jun 2013, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2186) | Send Message
     
    There are ramifications that will take decades to digest when the world economy lost over (at last count I am aware of) $17 TRILLION. I'm sure I don't need to remind most that the recent recession didn't and shouldn't have occurred.

     

    Don't understand how unions played a role in current problems nationally (U.S.).
    2 Jun 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • sky_ozone
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    unemployment numbers from Europe, each country should divide the numbers between following categories
    whites (citizens)
    white youth
    nonwhites (naturalized citizens)

     

    immigrants (on immigrant visa and PR holders)
    immigrant and non white youth

     

    then one can realize true unemployment and who is suffering more and reasons.
    2 Jun 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • SA_Member_8998191
    , contributor
    Comments (163) | Send Message
     
    Blame the unions, blame the government, blame the fed, blame the central banks, blame the corporations.

     

    So much blame, so little solution.
    2 Jun 2013, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2286) | Send Message
     
    Hooray, hooray!

     

    Stupidity is now legitimated, by the Honorable Secretary John F. Kerry;

     

    as his recent saying, "Americans now have the RIGHT to be Stupid!"

     

    Amen and Amen.

     

    March on...His 'manifesto' epitomizes the naivety of the country...
    2 Jun 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
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