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Waiting Longer Before Claiming, and Activating Youth. No Point?

04 nov. 2016 — B. Cockx - E. Van Belle


The Great Depression of 2008 has had a devastating impact on youth unemployment in Europe. By 2012 the youth unemployment rate in the European Union (EU27) had attained an unprecedented height of 22.8 per cent, which is 7.2 percentage points higher than four years earlier and more than twice as high as the prime-aged adult (25 to 54 years old) rate. In late 2012, the European Commission raised the alarm about the evolution of the youth unemployment and launched in April 2013 the Youth Guarantee to help EU countries get young people into employment, further education or (re)training within four months of leaving school.

Individual EU countries also implemented policy reforms to fight youth unemployment. For instance, in 2009 the Flemish government introduced a Youth Work Plan (YWP) in which young unemployed job seekers below the age of 25 were followed-up more intensively after the first month of unemployment. In 2012 the Belgian government extended for school-leavers aged less than 26 the waiting period before entitlement to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by three months, from nine to twelve months. This reform aimed at enhancing incentives of unemployed youth to search more intensively for jobs and to accept offers more quickly.

This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of the two aforementioned policies.


Cockx, B., & Van Belle, E. (2016). Waiting Longer Before Claiming, and Activating Youth. No Point? (WSE Report 2016 nr. 01). Leuven: Steunpunt Werk en Sociale Economie / Gent: SHERPPA, Universiteit Gent.

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