Employment in selected Eurozone countries. No austerity or neoliberal miracles
In case you missed it: Greece has to accept all the measures, which will increase unemployment to at least 30% and possibly 35%, lead to unprecedented amounts of dirt poor old people while 50 billion worth of assets is stacked away in a fund which is mainly meant to recapitalize the banks (surprise!) to be able to negotiate about a deal. This is not yet the deal itself (personal: as I see it there is literally a sadistic element to these measures). Mind that Greece knows next to no unemployment benefits while the number of elderly is rising rapidly. Austerity is of course supposed, by some, to be some kind of miracle cure. But is it? No. None of the Eurozone austerity countries did well, when we look at employment. And neither did Denmark or the Netherlands which before 2008 did everything right, aqccording to the neoliberal rulebook. Private debt fuelled growth, government surpluses, flexible labour markets etc. etc. At this moment, the Netherlands even have something like a 13% of GDP surplus on the current account (Q1, 2015). Despite this employment growth disappointed….
Why these countries?
Germany did, after about 1995, not have a large increase of private debt and a house price bubble, the main difference between this country and Denmark-The Netherlands.
The Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Ireland and Finland are prime examples of private debt financed bubbles, which were not ´solved´ (as should have happened) by right sizing banks and writing down debts during the bust but by blackmailing these countries to prioritize zombie debts and zombie banks. The ´stock´ economy (i.e. the stock of debts) took precedence over the flow economy (work,income, profit, wages, production, consumption, investment)
The southern European countries were (except for Italy) characterized by large inflows of capital, monstrous current account deficits (like the Baltics, by the way) and a sudden stop of this inflow, which was possible because the Target2 system enabled banks to offload their southern European financial assets to the public domain. Spain is special as, contrary to other countries, average work weeks actually increased after 2008 while the participation rate of women continued to rise, which led to an extra/ordinary rise in unemployment (and which does show the dynamism of the Spanish labour market)
The Netherlands, Denmark: see above.
The Netherlands and Denmarksee above , not work.