Young people in Germany are starting their careers later and later, according to a study conducted by the Federal Statistical Office and released on Monday. Between 1991 and 2003, the percentage of working youth between the ages of 15 and 29 fell from 63 percent to 48 percent. In eastern Germany, the number was even more extreme, falling to 47 percent from 70 percent. The study cited longer training and education courses as one reason for the decline and a lack of suitable jobs as the other. The situation places yet another burden on Germany's cash-strapped social welfare system. A consistently low birth rate and an aging population have already caused contributions to shrink. More young people beginning to work later means there are still fewer wage earners to pay into the system.