Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Youth unemployment rate (15-24 years)

Indicator definition

The indicator is defined as the share of unemployed persons aged 15-24 years of all persons of the age group 15-24 years in the labour force.

Indicator importance

This indicator should be viewed to as an “early warning indicator” for potential future social exclusion, and as such is included in the EU SDS set of indicators. High unemployment rates among young people should be alarming since these high rates might sustain in future, leading to generally high unemployment rates. If unemployed young people do not see any future for themselves in the labour markets, this might lead to all kinds of follow-up social problems.


The regional analysis revealed that in 2006, some capital/metropolitan regions in the BSR had severe problems with high youth unemployment levels, e.g. Berlin and Stockholm. In Poland youth unemployment was spread more widely and was problematic for many regions. However, the situation seems to has improved somewhat since, and today the pattern is somewhat different looking at the urban data. In Sweden for instance other cities than Stockholm seem to have more severe problems, and in Germany both Berlin and Hamburg are improving. In Poland the situation is problematic and worsening in most cities; especially in Gdansk and Katowice. The city with the highest rate of youth unemployment seems to be Riga, with 31 % in 2013. Cities in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania seem to be on a positive track (including Riga), at least for the larger cities for which we have data; Vilnius is the city with the most positive improvement. Also in Finland the youth unemployment is reducing.