Table of Contents

The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce

The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce

Challenges and Opportunities

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Cary Cooper and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou

The workforce is aging as people live longer and healthier lives, and mandatory retirement has become a relic of the past. Though workforces have always contained both younger and older employees the age range today has expanded, and the generational gap has become more distinct. This book advocates the need for talented employees of all ages as a way to prevent potential skill shortages and considers both the challenges and opportunities that these changes raise for individual organizations. The benefits they discuss include greater employee diversity with regards to knowledge, skills experience and perspectives, whilst challenges involve potential generational tensions, stereotypes and age biases. The book further places an emphasis on initiatives to create generation-friendly workplaces; these involve fostering lifelong learning, tackling age stereotypes and biases, employing reverse mentoring where younger employees mentor older employees, and offering older individuals career options including phased retirement, bridge employment and encore careers.

Chapter 4: Economic crisis, recession and youth unemployment: causes and consequences

Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Marina Dalla

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Terms such as crisis and recession are often used interchangeably, characterized as a negative shock, and generally associated with large-scale social dislocation or disruption (Mattias and Wuermli, 2012). The shock of unemployment may be related both to individual characteristics and to shared, more aggregate events such as economic crisis. Since 2007, between 30 million and 35 million jobs have been lost (ILO, 2011a). Many unemployed people have been out of work for over a year and have already lost hope of finding work. Furthermore, recession has affected youth unemployment, which has reached record highs worldwide (ILO, 2013). Global youth unemployment stood at 73.4 million in 2013, an increase of 3.5 million since 2007 and 0.8 million above the level in 2011. In 2011, youth unemployment in the European Union affected over 5.5 million young people, reaching a rate of 22.3 percent compared with 21 percent in November 2010. Countries experiencing the highest rates of youth unemployment in 2012 were Greece (55.3 percent), Spain (53.2 percent) and Portugal (37.7 percent), whilst the lowest rates were identified in Germany (8.1 percent) and Austria (8.7 percent). The situation is even worse in Eastern Europe (ITUC, 2012). The unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and FYR Macedonia affects 50 percent of the young population. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the rate reached 63.1 percent, that is, almost two in three young people are jobless (ILO, 2014). Youth unemployment rates have also reached high levels in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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