Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

Eurostat graph. Unemployment rates by duration, 2012 (%)

Eurostat graph. Unemployment rates by duration, 2012 (%)

Yesterday, Eurostat, the EU statistical service, published an update of unemployment statistics for the European Union covering the period up to December 2013. In that month 26.200 million men and women in the EU-28, of whom 19.010 million were in the euro area (EA-17), were unemployed. Eurostat estimates that “Compared with November 2013, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 162 000 in the EU-28 and by 129 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2012, unemployment decreased by 173 000 in the EU-28 and increased by 130 000 in the euro area”.

The same source states that “Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.1%) and Luxembourg (6.2%), and the highest rates in Greece (27.8% in October 2013) and Spain (25.8%)”. At this point it must be mentioned that in countries with low rates of jobless workers, some forms of hidden underemployment are proportionally more evident than in the crisis hit member states.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this topic. There are three forms of unemployment which are not included in the official definition, as recognised by the United Nations, International Labour Organisation. Those forms are: underemployed part-time workers, jobless persons seeking a job but not immediately available for work and jobless persons available for work but not seeking it.

Differences between north and south

Due to differences in labour market structures between north and south EU countries, those three forms of non-recognised unemployment tend to be much more intense in the former member states. European Sting writer, George Pepper, noted on 21 January that “…countries like Germany with ostensibly very low official unemployment percentages are not spared from real unemployment. In the case of Germany, where the official unemployment is only 5.2%, there is another, almost equally important percentage of unemployed part-timers of 4.1% of the labour force, plus 1.3% of seeking but not available and another 1.3% of people available but not seeking for employment. Add those four percentages and you arrive at 11.9%, which is a quite important part of the labour force”.

           Eurostat table. Unemployment rates, 2001-2012 (%)

Unemployment_rate,_2001-2012_(%)

The same forms of non-recognised unemployment are present also in the south of Eurozone, but their presence is proportionally less intense. If added to the official rates they don’t lead to double percentages as in the case of Germany. However, given that in countries like Spain and Greece, the official rates are hideously high, the addition of the three unofficial forms leads to percentages, which surpass the one third of the labour force.

Coming back to the official rates Eurostat observes that in December 2013, “Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in fourteen Member States fell in thirteen and remained stable in Sweden. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (13.9 % to 17.5 %), Greece (26.1 % to 27.8 % between October 2012 and October 2013), the Netherlands (5.8 % to 7.0 %) and Italy (11.5 % to 12.7 %)”.

Long term trends

What about the long term trends? For various reasons developments in the labour market may linger and not necessarily follow right on the footprints of the general economic trends. Sometimes the labour market follows the general trends after a long time gap. Such a period was the twelve month interval between mid-2010 and mid-2011. During that time, the labour market was emitting false signals that the economic crisis had ended. The Eurostat writers note that “The unemployment rate in the euro area (EA-17) followed roughly the same trend as in the EU-27… Like in the EU-27, during the economic crisis, unemployment increased at a considerable pace, with the exception of the period between mid-2010 and mid-2011, where it temporarily declined. At the end of 2012 the unemployment rate for the EA-17 hit 11.8 %, the highest rate since 1995”.

Unfortunately, unemployment in Eurozone increased further and reached 12% in October last year. The problem is though, as all analysts agree, that the currently weak and fragmented recovery of Eurozone will have no positive effects on the labour market during the foreseeable future. It takes more than words to fight this devastating phenomenon, which ravages half the Eurozone and has already damaged, probably irreparably, the socio-political environment in countries like Greece and Italy.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Economic growth ‘exceeds expectations’ but trade tensions are rising: UN report

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

Women’s leadership ‘critical’ to future of Niger

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

Action needed to tackle stalled social mobility

European Business Summit 2014: Sting Report, Day I

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

Cultural Intelligence: the importance of changing perspectives

Free trade agreement between EU and India?

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

The European brain drain and the deteriorating medical workforce

New migration pact highlights key role of business in protecting migrants, say UN experts

Mali: ‘Dire’ humanitarian situation, ‘grave’ security concerns challenge fragile peace

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

Why sustainable packaging is good for profits as well as the planet

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

G20 LIVE: the EU trade gold rush continues as EU and Australia agree to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) live from Antalya Turkey

Security Union: political agreement on strengthened Schengen Information System

New EU rules to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Here’s what happened when one Guatemalan town went to war on plastic waste

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

New UN rights chief pledges to push back on ‘centuries of prejudice and discrimination’

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Draghi to lay his print on long term ECB policies prior to exiting next year

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

Greece’s last Eurogroup or the beginning of a new solid European Union?

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

“As long as we work together through thick and thin, more benefits can be delivered to the people of Eurasia”, China’s Premier Li Keqiang highlights from ASEM in Brussels

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Stricter rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

UN agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s