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The Unemployment Crisis in Europe
This fits the definition of a ‘hot spot’ as much as any other topic these days. The staggering unemployment levels, including a 52.1% youth unemployment rate (age 25 and under) in both Greece and Spain, is beyond deeply troubling. In many instances with regards to the youth, it’s a lost generation and highly dangerous, especially given the continent’s history.
So I went back through some Eurostat data and came up with the following among the major nations in the news these days (including the Netherlands as an example of a healthier situation).
The unemployment rate in the European Union and Euro area (EU-17 nations employing the euro currency) bottomed at about 6.7% in the spring of 2008, while for this cycle the unemployment rate in the United States bottomed at 4.4% four separate months in both late 2006 and early 2007.
Following are the average unemployment rates for all of 2008 in selected countries and then the May 2012 data (generally the latest available). The 2008 figure for the U.S. is an average for the year as compiled by Eurostat.
As you can see, the rise in the level of joblessness in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain is staggering.
You can also see how the German economy (with help from government policies) has taken advantage of the bad situation.
EU-27…7.1% …10.3% [5/12]
France…7.8 …10.1 [5/12]
Nations already receiving bailout funds
Greece…7.7…22.5 [4/12…late in issuing data]
United States…5.8 …8.2 [6/12]