Since starting this blog back in June, I feel like I’ve been avoiding the mention of a certain topic that’s on everyone’s minds here in Spain. As much as I would love to only write about the weird/exotic foods that I try and post pictures of my puppy – it’s definitely time I “faced the music” and wrote about what’s really happening over here.
The reality of life here, especially for young university graduates, is not all that bright now a days. This has a lot to do with the fact that the overall unemployment level is around 20% and a staggering 40% for those under 25 years old.
Spain was greatly affected by the financial crisis that began in the US in 2008 and they continue to reel from its negative effects. Because of what happened in the United States over three years ago, this country is still suffering from things such as high unemployment, inflated housing prices, and the inability to obtain loans from banks. Let’s just say times around here have been better – especially for Spain’s young people.
In this article from the Spanish newspaper ABC titled “Youth Unemployment and Education” spills the truth about this disheartening trend. For me, the most upsetting point this article makes is that even the most educated Spanish young people are struggling to get hired after graduating college. According to the article, the current unemployment situation in Spain is defying the norm because not only are those with the least amount of preparation unable to find jobs, but also those who possess a college degree and beyond.
Unfortunately, I have met many Spanish people my and Diego’s age who are personally affected by this upsetting situation. It is all too common to come across a young person here who spent 6 years studying to complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree ( in fields like marketing, business, and engineering) who had to either settle with a non/very low paying internship or is still without work after a year or more of searching.
To top it all off, the majority of companies and now requiring a high level of English for all their potential candidates. So not only is there an enormous pressure on the Spanish youth to find a job in an almost non-existing market, but there’s also the added stress of the need to master a foreign language to even be considered for an entry level position.
Of course the fact that the majority of the people here are hard-pressed to learn English means I have a sense of job security. Yet I find it hard to enjoy the relative ease it was for me to find a good paying job when so many other people my age (who are way more qualified) are struggling to get hired. I suppose all I can do though is be grateful for the opportunity I have and try my hardest to make sure to teach my classes to the best of my abilities.
On the bright side, however, this weekend is Election Weekend in Spain! This means that more than likely a new political party will win as president and perhaps bring about some changes to the current rate of unemployment. I find myself feeling optimistic with the election upon us even though the experts insist that it will be many years before Spain returns to the thriving force it once was.
Is it this difficult for young people to get hired in the US?
How would you feel if all the places you looked to get a job required that you speak at least one other language?