Minister expects youth unemployment to rise further

Labour minister Dan Kersch at a press conference in July 2020 (Photo: Patricia Pitsch / Maison Moderne)

Labour minister Dan Kersch at a press conference in July 2020 (Photo: Patricia Pitsch / Maison Moderne)

Unemployment in the grand duchy appeared to be stablising in August, dropping from 7% in May to 6.4% last month. But the labour minister said a high number of new jobseekers--compared to those previously registered with job centre Adem--spelled “bad news”.

School and university graduates who have been unable to find work over the summer could cause the number of first-time jobseekers to increase further, Kersch (LSAP) said during a labour committee meeting in parliament, and drive up already high youth unemployment.

“The crisis affects all young people regardless of their education, including university diplomas,” Kersch said. Nearly 4,000 people under the age of 30 were registered with Adem last month. This marked an increase of more than a third compared to the same time last year, the biggest jump in any age bracket.

Across all ages, the number of jobseekers with a higher education degree rose by 32.7% compared to August 2019 to reach 4,500 jobseekers out of 18,525 people registered as unemployed.

The government this week launched Diplom+, a training programme for high school leavers who have not yet started a degree or other qualification. The one-year course includes IT, project and time management skills courses but also training on how to find a job.

The government in July launched grants for businesses to take on trainees and expanded subsidies for businesses who hire registered jobseekers. This was previously available for people aged 45 or over but the minimum age has been lowered to 30.

Finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) last year announced the government would create more than 1,800 public sector jobs. And Kersch on Thursday said the state will continue an “aggressive hiring policy” in 2021.