Meanwhile, in Europe… Unemployment hits a record, differences larger than ever (Nov 2011, graph)
from Merijn Knibbe
According to last weeks Eurostat unemployment report the EZ unemployment rate did not change in November, compared with the month before (10,3%). The number of unemployed in the European Union however increased with 55.000 to a new record. According to the press release, ‘Compared with November 2010, unemployment rose by 723 000 in the EU27 and by 587 000 in the euro area’. But averages do not serve us well when we look at either the European Union or the Eurozone, as differences between countries are still increasing (graph). When we look at a somewhat longer period we see employment rates converging up to 2008. After about january 2008, i.e. quite some time before ‘Lehmann’, rates in Ireland and Spain start to explode and differences bertween countries became larger than ever. In 2009 Greece (which unlike Spain and Ireland did not know a housing bubble) saw its rate explode, at this moment unemployment starts to increase in Italy and Portugal (not shown). I wonder where it will stop – economic policies are clearly aimed at increasing the differences.
It’s interesting to compare today’s data with some historical German data. It’s not that long ago (2006) that East German unemployment was as high as Greek unemployment today! See here and click on ‘Ost-West-Vergleich seit 1994′. And remember: East Germany is not only the ‘Heimat’, the birthplace, of Angela Merkel, but it has also about twice the inhabitants of Greece, while East German unemployment still is 10% and therewith way too high. No wonder that Germans are not enthousiastic about bailing out yet another high unemployment area. And I can imagine that Angela Merkel has other priorities than Greece… and the Euro. Which probably means that the Euro will not survive.