EU area unemployment up 1.9 million in a year – as Spain’s jobless rate nears 25%

From April 2011 to April 2012, unemployment has risen across the European Union, with Spain's jobless rate nearing one in four, reports Shamik Das.

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At the start of the week, Left Foot Forward reported the story of a new pan-European campaign, “Austerity Isn’t Working”, a coalition of progressive institutions in favor of a pro-European, pro-growth agenda.

Carlos Mulas, Executive Director of Fundacion IDEAS, explained:

It was just over a year ago, in Madrid, when the movement of “indignados” took to the streets and gathered the world’s attention with their calls for a more inclusive democracy and economy.

Their proposals to strengthen democracy from the “bottom up” to counterbalance unregulated market economies was welcomed across the globe. The “indignados” movement took different forms in New York, Tel Aviv and London, inspiring a summer of social activism. Fast forward a year, however, and the calls for inclusion are as great as ever.

Today, there was further proof of the failure of austerity across Europe – and the toll on Spain in particular – with the publication of the latest Eurostat unemployment statistics (pdf).

As Chart 1 shows, in the year from April 2011 to April 2012, unemployment has risen in nearly all European Union states for which data is available, with Spain’s jobless rate nearing one in four.

Chart 1:



See also:

WATCH: Krugman savages the austerians with embarrassing ease 31 May 2012

Now the EC warns Osborne: Deficit “projected to fall more slowly” due to weak growth 30 May 2012

Austerity Isn’t Working • Sparpolitik ist keine Lösung • L’austérité ne marche pas 28 May 2012


These are the key stats:

• The Europan Union (EU27) unemployment rate was 10.3% in April 2012, up 0.8 points from 9.5% in April 2011;

• The euro area (EA17) unemployment rate was 11% in April 2012, up 1.1 points from 9.9% in April 2011;

• The EU unemployment figure was 24.667 million in April 2012, up 1.932 million since April 2011;

• The EA unemployment figure was 17.405 million in April 2012, up 1.797 million since April 2011.

• Austria (3.9%), Luxembourg (5.2%), Holland (5.2%) and Germany (5.4%) have the lowest unemployment rates; and

• Spain (24.3%), Greece (21.7% in February 2012), Latvia (15.2% in the first quarter of 2012) and Portugal (15.2%) have the highest jobless rates.

And there was further grim news from the States, with the US unemployment rate up to 8.2% from 8.1%, bad but 2.1 and 2.9 points below the EU and EA rates respectively.

Austerity is failing, and we’re all paying the price.


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