As a student at the University of Indianapolis, me and another student (Nikolaos Mitsopoulos) conducted a questionnaire about youth unemployment in Greece, in order to conclude to some accurate results about its effects.
Our questionnaire was divided into three parts. The first section is about the background information of youth unemployed and it is composed by their gender, age, marital and educational status. The second section is about the youth unemployed history and the third part is about their major concerns and ideas about their situation.
We have interviewed 30 people, 15 male and 15 female. Their age was between 19 to 25 years old. We have been able to understand from their responses, what they believe about the current situation in Greece and what are their major concerns now that they are unemployed.
The 15 male were all single and had bachelor’s degree. Ninety per cent of the men wrote that their cause of unemployment was that the wages are too low and that there is not enough information concerning availability of jobs. Ten per cent of them stated that they didn’t have enough time for a full time job because of their studies and that it is difficult to find a job during this period of economic crisis.
It is also important to mention that 95% of all men interviewed, said that they were prepared to do any kind of work. The other 5% supplemented that they were looking for any kind of jobs but they would like to be able to choose if they would take it or not, if it came to that. In addition, it is crucial to underline that they stated that if they had the opportunity to have a job preference 50% would rather have a white collar job, 30% a blue collar job and 20% wouldn’t care were to work for.
It is also interesting to underline that 80% of men declared that they haven’t worked since their last job which was more than five months ago. Ten per cent of them (ages 19-23) haven’t found a work since they left school and another 10% was not able to find work at all. All men stated that they are still unemployed since they haven’t had any job offers. Most of the 15 men that we interviewed in order to supplement the questionnaires has already had more than 6 jobs (80%) in the past. The other 10% has had in the past 2 to 3 different jobs and the other 10% has never worked.
Furthermore, we asked the men about the main reasons for looking for a job, besides the fact that they are adults. One hundred per cent of them stated that they want to be independent so that they won’t have to be a burden to their families and to also gain experience.
The third section of the questionnaire consisted of the major concerns and ideas now that are unemployed. The most important factor of them being unemployed is that they don’t have opportunities to gain experience and learn. In addition, the low wages that most jobs offer right now and the economic safety that a job provides are major concerns.
Another significant factor is that they all believe that unemployment has led to corruption, dishonesty, crimes and racism. Additionally, all believe that the economic crisis, the political instability and the educational system of Greece has led to high unemployment. They have all also stated that government has never, in any way, helped the youth due to the unemployment problem.
Finally, they were all asked if they have considered leaving Greece because of its economic crisis. Eighty per cent of men thought of leaving but they are not sure while the other 20% is strongly thinking of leaving and finding work elsewhere. They were also asked to give suggestions about how the youth unemployment could be solved. Ninety per cent of them suggested that Greece should invest in new technologies and machinery so people could have more job opportunities. The other 10% believe that everything is happening because of the Memorandum and that is why Greece should exit of the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
On the other hand, 10% of the 15 women that we asked were married and the others were single. In addition, all women have bachelor degrees and their age is between 20 and 23 years. Fifty per cent of the women stated that the cause of their unemployment is due to lack of experience. Twenty per cent of them elaborated that there are not enough jobs; another 20% believes that there is not enough information about availability of jobs and another 10% stated that they don’t know the real cause of their unemployment.
It is important also to underline that 80% of the women wrote that they are looking to find any kind of job, but they want to be given the opportunity to accept it or not. Ten per cent stated that they would like to find a job that could provide them the same or a higher wage of salary that they used to have at their former job and another 10% reported that they would settle for any kind of work.
In addition, it vital to underline that 90% of the women stated that they had worked approximately 1 to 2 jobs and 10% 3 to 4. Besides, 10% have been without work since they left school and 90% since their last job (months). Moreover, 90% of women interviewed said that if they had the opportunity to choose the kind of job they would like to do, it would have been a white collar job. On the other hand, 10% would prefer more a blue collar job. All women stated that they want to get a job because they mostly want to be independent and get experience.
The women were asked about their major concerns now that that they are unemployed. One hundred per cent of them stated that the safety that a job provides is very important. In addition it is vital to learn and gain experience. Besides, 80% of the women interviewed showed great concern of the low wages that Greece offers and the minimal opportunities for promotion. The other 20% thought that all the above mentioned factors are very important.
It is significant to underline that 20% of the women interviewed believe that the educational system in Greece is not responsible for the high unemployment among the educated youth while 80% believe that it is a major factor. Despite this, 100% of all women strongly believe that the government is not helping the youth with the unemployment issue.
Furthermore, 90% of the women believe that the political instability in Greece is the main reason for youth unemployment when 10% disagrees. Fifty per cent of women want to leave Greece due to its economic crisis. The other 50% would consider abandoning Greece although it would be their last choice.
Women were also asked if they have any suggestions on how to solve the unemployment problem in Greece. They suggested investing in more new companies, having a better educational system and more stable government. In that way more jobs would be offered and youth would know where to look for and have the appropriate skills and training to be employed.
To sum up, as we can see there are many different opinions about the youth unemployment among men and women. It is interesting to underline from the answers given that men have more trouble finding work than women. Also men don’t care so much about what work they get in the contrast to women. In addition, women are more willing to leave Greece than men and believe that unemployment does not lead to corruption and dishonesty. At last they both believe that the economic crisis and the political instability have brought high unemployment rates. Greece should try investing more in new companies so the unemployed youth can have a chance in finding a job in the future.