IN PARTS of Europe and the Middle East more than a quarter of 15- to 24-year-olds do not have a job. In some black spots such as Spain and Egypt the figure is more than a half. Altogether 75m of the world’s young people are unemployed and twice that number are underemployed. This not only represents a huge loss of productive capacity as people in the prime of life are turned into dependants. It is also a potential source of social disruption and a daily source of individual angst. The Japanese have a word for the 700,000 young people who have withdrawn from society into domestic cocoons: hikikomori.