This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Young People Need Jobs

Now, you may think that the headline "young people need jobs" is so obvious as to be trite. But the Associated Press reports that this was the message that Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered yesterday to a meeting of the United Nation's International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva. She was referring specifically, however, to young people in Arab nations who have been trying to leave those countries and head to Europe in search of jobs. Europeans really don't want them in Europe and so, of course, the message is to create jobs in those Arab countries that have been experiencing turbulence. Her argument was not framed in terms of discouraging migration, of course, but rather in terms of promoting democracy.

"We want that in those countries, too, freedom and democracy can develop well. This will be inseparably linked to providing sensible perspectives for the many young people who are prepared to work," Merkel told a U.N. labor meeting in Geneva.
Germany plans to support job creation in North Africa by providing opportunities for young people to gain training and qualifications "so they can work in their own countries," she added.
Her speech echoed a warning by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who earlier Tuesday warned that labor migration from the Mideast was among the top challenges workers face so far in the 21st century, together with the pressure from climate change.
It is impossible to disagree with the idea that young people need good jobs. The challenge of creating such jobs is enormous, of course, yet the stability of the region (whether in democratic form or some other form) almost certainly depends upon it.

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