Youth Unemployment Hits 20% in Europe

Unemployment in the eurozone hit a new 10-year record in April at 10.1 percent. This is true even while excluding Greece… which isn’t bothering to contribute monthly data for the time being.

The rest of the PIIGS all had predictable increases in joblessness. Probably hit hardest are the young, which have an unemployment rate above 40 percent in Spain, and are now an average of 20 percent jobless for the eurozone overall.

According to The Financial Times:

“Unemployment in the 16 countries that use the euro is now at its highest level since before the inception of the European single currency in 1999, according to seasonally-adjusted data from the European Union’s statistical arm.

“Youth unemployment breached the 20 per cent mark, up from 19.9 per cent in March. It is now once again above 40 per cent in Spain. Joblessness is a lagging indicator, and economists warn that it is likely to peak well after the economy starts recovering, probably at a level closer to 10.5 per cent.

“But extensive labour market measures used to soften the impact of the downturn – in particular short-work schemes that encouraged companies to cut working hours instead of making employees redundant – may result in erratic recovery in employment levels, economists believe.”

Only two eurozone economies, the Netherlands and Germany, were able to show even a slight increase in employment. Most other countries, including France, showed stable unemployment levels. Until the jobs picture improves, Europe is no more likely than the US to see any real economic recovery.

You can read more details in The Financial Times’ coverage of the eurozone jobless rate hitting its highest level in over a decade.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning