One in three young people have lost their jobs since the start of the economic crisis (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). According to a study commissioned by Joseph Oliver, the professor of Applied Economics at UAB, those aged between 16 to 29 have felt the effects of the crisis the most. In the last three years employment among young people has fallen by 32 percent compared to a 3.5 percent drop in the population aged between 30 and 64. In particular, the number of unemployed young people has doubled in the same period from 841,000 to 1.6 million. The data covers the period from the third quarter of 2007 until the first of this year. Oliver points out that one of the reasons behind this increase is that Spain has a tendency to fire the young over the head of a household and that companies understand that the "family network" can assist the young when unemployed. He went on to express his doubts that a labour reform cuould change this trend. The combined effect on young people increasingly out of work and the fall in the active population has left the overall unemployment rate at 32 percent. According to Oliver another element of concern is the increasing problem of the long-term unemployed, the professor said that this status affects both children and adults, adding that "the more time spent outside the labour market, the more time it takes to return". According to the study, in the first quarter of 2010, more than 25 percent of the unemployed had been out of work from between one and two years.
A preliminary report prepared by experts from Unesco, who visited the Sagrada Familia in February, have advised a change of route for the AVE tunnel (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The study, which was commissioned by the International Council on Monuments said that although the proposed construction of the high-speed train tunnel "meets standards" it is not fully prepared to withstand unforeseen disasters, such as the sudden collapse of structures adjacent to the tunnel during drilling. Experts Rolf Katzenbach and Wolfram Jäger both recommend a re-route to increase security measures. They also propose the building of a second wall of protection that would link to one being constructed by the company Adif. Katzenbach and Jäger also recommend the freezing of the earth when using the digger to avoid water seepage and suggested that more work should not be undertaken before these measures were carried out. The final position of the UN agency, with respects to the works to the AVE tunnel, will not be known until the end of July when the committee will meet. Adif sources have not spoken of the measures proposed in the report and are expected not to until the final report is presented.
The NGO Caritas has helped more than 30,080 people in the first five months of 2010, 10,000 more than in the same period in 2009 (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Whilst in 2007, native Spanish people accounted for 24 percent of those requiring help, in 2009, that figure had risen to 31 percent and in 2010, it is already at 36 percent. Jordi Roglà, the director of the charity, revealed that figures from the first part of 2010 are extremely high with the total number of people seeking help, within the period of January and May, already at 40,511 people, that's compared to a record high of 51,372 people attending in the whole of 2009. Roglà said that there are now four factors which people are facing "at the start of the crisis we talked about three needs, work, work, work and after that, work, work and housing; later when the situation worsened there was talk of work, housing and now despair". He insists that the prolongation of the crisis is also a factor and says that "People most affected by the crisis are much more likely to suffer anxiety, depression, isolation and social disengagement". Mercè Darnell, head of management and programmes, said that more than half of those seen last year were children and teenagers. "There are many children living with their mothers in a room without any privacy." Another group at risk are those aged between 50 and 55 who have lost their job and will find it hard to claim a full pension.
Also in the news: Half a year since its introduction the city has registered a 9 point increase in the amount of organic matter being recycled (read article in full Catalan here, El Punt).