Desempleo juvenil: un legado del neoliberalismo

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De cada dos colombianos sin trabajo, uno es joven, asegura el DANE.

Ivanovich Jiménez

Según informe de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas, más de mil millones de jóvenes viven actualmente en el mundo, lo que significa que de cada cinco personas, una es un joven entre 15 y 29 años de edad, o que aproximadamente el 20% de la población global son jóvenes. Por su parte, la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) señala que de los 780 millones de jóvenes económicamente activos, el 14,5% están desempleados. La tasa de desempleo juvenil a nivel mundial pasó en los últimos diez años de 11,9% en 2017, a 14,5% en el presente año, proyectándose un aumento en el próximo.

Esta realidad, tendiente a agudizarse, acarrea significativas consecuencias, en materia social para la juventud, a medida que aumenta el número de aspirantes que se incorporan al mercado laboral. En razón de esto la OIT ya llama como “generación perdida”, a un contingente de jóvenes que después de agotar una larga y frustrada búsqueda de empleo, terminará siendo excluida del mundo laboral, ya que según este organismo, en las economías en desarrollo del mundo actual, los jóvenes son más vulnerables al desempleo y consecuentemente a la pobreza, por lo que la crisis se traduce además, en reducción de salarios para los pocos que logran mantener un empleo formal.

El desempleo juvenil en Colombia

La posibilidad para acceder a un empleo para los jóvenes en Colombia es dramática y el panorama no es muy alentador. La tasa de desempleo juvenil, según el DANE, en el trimestre abril – junio de 2017, fue de 16,1%. Señala además el Departamento Nacional de Planeación, que en Colombia el 49,9% de los desempleados son personas menores de 29 años, es decir, que de cada dos colombianos que no tienen trabajo, uno de ellos es joven. Estas cifras solo son superadas por Guyana, y son mayores al promedio latinoamericano y al de países africanos como Kenia, Mali y Argelia.

Reflejan la realidad en la que viven los jóvenes colombianos, de cara a las posibilidades de acceder a un empleo formal, y que son cercenadas por una parte por la lógica de un modelo económico que necesita para su reproducción, la existencia de un ejército de desempleados, dispuestos a concurrir a empleos, la mayoría de las veces con salarios paupérrimos y en condiciones laborales indignas, con tal de garantizar unos ingresos, que aunque bajos, estables; y por otra parte por la exigencia de experiencia laboral, en donde se enfrentan a una situación en la que no son contratados, por no poseer dicha experiencia, pero a su vez no pueden acumularla, al no poderse emplear, por inexpertos.

Ante este panorama, la informalidad se ha convertido una de las maneras para un gran número de jóvenes colombianos, de ganarse la vida. La informalidad o el rebusque, que desde la institucionalidad se le quiere dar un tinte de “emprendimiento”, no es más que la eliminación de todas las garantías laborales y del derecho a la seguridad social, pero a su vez, se ha convertido en la única manera de atenuar el drama de la pobreza y el desempleo, para gran parte de nuestros jóvenes.

Jóvenes desempleados y violencia juvenil

Si bien, el desempleo juvenil no ha sido el factor determinante para los altos niveles de violencia en que los jóvenes son los principales protagonistas, sí ha sido un factor condicionante, dado que la delincuencia y la economía criminal sí ha brindado oportunidades de “trabajo”.

Las actuales condiciones en la que vive gran parte de los jóvenes de nuestro país, tiene una estrecha relación con los índices de violencia, drogadicción, el narcotráfico y delincuencia juvenil. Alguna parte de esos jóvenes no pudieron acceder al mercado laboral, pero además han desistido de la esperanza de conseguir empleo, lo que los convierte en potenciales participes de la delincuencia común. Dicho sea de paso, que esta realidad es también una de las causas que motivan la participación de jóvenes en el conflicto armado en Colombia; algunos ingresando al ejército oficial, o al paramilitarismo, mal denominado “bandas criminales”, con la pretensión de conseguir una “estabilidad laboral”; y otros a las insurgencias como única posibilidad para lograr las transformaciones necesarias en el país.

La violencia, en la que son protagonistas los jóvenes, es la consecuencia del proceder del estado y la lógica de un modelo económico, que ha contribuido al auge de esa violencia, en donde la falta de oportunidades para miles de jóvenes ha determinado un rumbo en medio de la violencia, y en donde indiscutiblemente, la imposibilidad de acceder a un empleo estable ha determinado la reproducción de expresiones violentas en los jóvenes.

La herencia más perversa del neoliberalismo

Frente a esta realidad, es razonable preguntarse: ¿Cómo hemos llegado a esta situación? ¿Cómo hemos acabado con un desempleo juvenil con niveles tan altos? Esta realidad es una de las herencias más perversas del modelo neoliberal, ese que pregonó un mundo de oportunidades para todos aquellos con espíritu emprendedor.

Como parte de su crítica a la intervención del Estado en la economía, y posterior a la década de los ochenta del siglo pasado, los teóricos del neoliberalismo, abandonaron por completo uno de los principales aportes del keynesianismo, el pleno empleo, que se había elevado a política pública. En su momento, los neoliberales dijeron que este objetivo era demasiado ambicioso, que distorsionaba los mercados, que implicaba una indeseable intervención estatal, y se lo dejó de lado sin contemplaciones. Sin embargo, la causa más importante del desempleo viene de la estrategia de desarrollo que caracteriza a este modelo.

Esta estrategia, aplicada por los gobiernos de la mayoría de países en las décadas de los noventa, significaba darles todos los beneficios posibles a los ricos y a las corporaciones, bajarles los impuestos, otorgarles las más amplias facilidades para sus iniciativas, porque iban a ser ellos los que asegurarían un crecimiento económico sostenido. Al tener más ganancias, invertirían más, crearían o ampliarían sus negocios y empresas, generarían empleo y reducirían la pobreza, todo lo cual redundaría en mayor bienestar para todos.

Lo que nos reflejan las cifras de desempleo juvenil, es que esta estrategia no funcionó en ninguna parte del mundo; si bien produjo cierto crecimiento económico en algunos países, su resultado principal fue una regresión masiva en la distribución del ingreso nacional y mundial. Los ricos se hacen mucho más ricos, y los trabajadores, los pobres se quedaron en su misma situación e incluso retrocedieron.

Hoy, nuestras calles están abarrotadas de jóvenes sin oportunidades y sin la posibilidad de un empleo, buscando la manera de ganarse la vida, de sobrevivir. Una de esas maneras ha sido la informalidad y el rebusque, pero la delincuencia, la vida criminal, la prostitución entre otras, también ha sido una alternativa para algunos de esos jóvenes, condenados a la exclusión.

@Ivanovich_JB 

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