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Downturn could hit young workers the hardest

Young people are likely to bear the brunt of the emerging recession with an estimated 10,000 more people aged 25 and under facing unemployment in 2010.

The Swiss Trade Union Federation estimated on Thursday that more than 30,000 workers in that age group were likely to have no job next year as the economic downturn continued. That is 50 per cent more than the current official figure.

"As companies stop hiring it's always the last people to arrive on the job market who are the most affected," said the federation's Jean-Christophe Schwab.

The number could actually be much worse. About half of jobless youths today are not registered with unemployment services and therefore do not figure in official statistics. The trade federation estimates real numbers could show as many as 60,000 youths with no professional occupation in 2010.

Internships and training positions are also likely to dry up. At the moment, about 20,000 youths are waiting for training positions.

If businesses cannot create those opportunities, the trade federation suggests the public sector should step in and offer young workers more full-time places at professional schools.

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