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.
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.
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.
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.
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.