Unemployment represents one of the biggest social problems in the modern world. The labor market is constantly fluctuating either by the volatility of financial markets or by the dynamism of each country’s economy. However, it should be noted that, although the unemployment rate is similar in different countries of the European Union, thisdoes not necessarily mean that living conditions are the same, even on the contrary.
In Portugal, unemployment continues to be a difficult problem to solve, especially when it comes to youth unemployment, and even more so when unemployment is associated with young people with disabilities or young women. Although young people arethe most qualified generation ever in our country, young Portuguese people are the most affected by unemployment.
According to the Regional Statistics Service of the Azores, theactive population estimated in the second quarter of 2021 was 118,400 individuals, an increase of 1.5% compared to the same quarter and also an increase of 0.9% compared to the previous quarter. In the quarterly comparison, the largest increase was in the age group from 25 to 34 years, with a value of5.8%.
In fact, in recent years, the Azores have seen an increase in its youth unemployment rate, currently at 24.2%. This is therefore a very worrying reality, especially because it affects not only low-skilled young people, but also thousands of graduates, thus constituting an economic, political and social problem that is difficult to solve.
In terms of gender, women have higher levels of education, although they continue to be discriminated against in terms of pay compared to their male colleagues. Women with higher education, regardless of age group, have higher employment levels than men: in 15-24 years, respectively, 43.5% compared to 34.5%; in the 25-29 years, 84.5% compared to 74.8%. At other qualification levels, men continue to reveal higher levels of employment.
With regard to young people with disabilities, according to the report “People with Disabilities in Portugal – Human Rights Indicators 2020”, in the first half of 2020 there were 13,270 people with disabilities enrolled in employment centers.
Young people with disabilities are at a disadvantage compared to their peers, as certain situations or contexts prevent young people from having effective access to formal and non-formal education, mobility and transnational participation, active citizenship, autonomy and integration into society as a whole. These disadvantages gain even greater revellery when they are analysed in terms of job supply and demand. Most of these young people are excluded from employment opportunities, partly because of the employer’s lack of sensitivity or simply because of difficulties in accessibility and transport networks.
Ana Silva, Cresaçor