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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Macron plans for Europe, Brexit and banks but vague on France

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

The remote doctor in the 21st century

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

European Commissioner for Youth wants young people to be at heart of policy making

This solar-powered car lets you drive for free

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

Light at the end of the Eurozone tunnel

ECB indicates south Europeans can endure more austerity

How China raised the stakes for electric vehicles

The West cannot ignore Russia; dazed Germany sitting on the fence

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

The impact of mobile and rapid digital adoption on how India consumes

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

More electric cars on EU roads by 2030

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Connected Claims returns to London in 2018

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

Cross-roads

We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them

Regional competitiveness and growth: a Gordian knot for Europe

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Students in Milan are moving in with the elderly to fight loneliness and save money

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

Germany loses leading export place

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament calls on the EU to act

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter

In polarized America, a new divide looms

‘Power is not given, power is taken’, UN chief tells women activists, urging push-back against status quo

How bad could British healthcare get for its citizens abroad post-Brexit?

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

FROM THE FIELD: For refugees and migrants in Europe, healthcare’s essential but a challenge to find

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

Heard about deepfakes? Don’t panic. Prepare

Can Eurozone stand economic and financial fragmentation?

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

Following the World Cup? Then you’re watching high-performing migrants at work

Climate change is a disruptor. Here’s how to harness it for innovation

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

Madagascar: UN chief commends leaders, State institutions following ‘historic milestone’ election

How electrification will make the world more inclusive

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

The role of junior entrepreneurs as a bridge between academia and business world

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