High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (second from left), went to Paris, where he took part in a discussion on European competitiveness with Members of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor (at the podium), François Hollande, President of the French Republic and Leif Johansson, Chairman of the ERT (first from left). The integrity of the euro area had been preserved, the recovery was there, but the economic crisis is not over. Unemployment rates were still quite high.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (second from right), went to Paris, where he took part in a discussion on European competitiveness with Members of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor (at the podium), François Hollande, President of the French Republic and Leif Johansson, Chairman of the ERT (first from right). The integrity of the euro area had been preserved, the recovery was there, but the economic crisis is not over. Unemployment rates were still quite high.

Eurostat, the EU statistical service, revealed yesterday that the “euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12% in January 2014, unchanged since October 2013”. The number of people without a job though increased in January 2014 to 19,175 from 19,158 thousand in December 2013. The rate of unemployment remains obstinately stuck to those very high levels since many months, always on the rise during the last few years. In January 2013 it was quoted at 12%.

This is an uneasy reality. It could have been worse if a large number of unemployed in countries like Romania and Bulgaria hadn’t decided to move to another EU country in search of a job. Anything between one twentieth to one tenth of working age people in Romania and Bulgaria left their country during the past ten years searching a better life elsewhere in the EU.

Despite the fact that everybody in Brussels insists that the “recovery in the European Union is gaining ground and spreads across countries”, the uneasy fact remains that this anemic growth doesn’t seem to positively affect the labour market by reducing the number of people without a job. Even if one accepts that theoretically an increase of the GDP is felt in the labour market only after many months, this doesn’t seem to be the case in the Eurozone. GDP grew by 0.3% during the second quarter of last year but unemployment kept rising or stagnating in many member states.

Which recovery?

However, it’s not only unemployment that keeps emitting negative signals. The widely advertised recovery is also questionable. Yesterday the European Sting writer George Pepper concluded that “Combining the two findings (slight improvements in the Economic Sentiment and the Business Climate indicators during February), it becomes evident that the internal state of the economy doesn’t help the industrial sector much. If it wasn’t for the small increases in the export order book, both the Business Climate Indicator and the Economic Sentiment would have fallen in February, following the deterioration in consumer confidence”.

In detail now, Eurostat found that among the EU member states, ‘’the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.0%) and Luxembourg (6.1%), and the highest in Greece (28.0% in November 2013) and Spain (25.8%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in thirteen member states, fell in thirteen and remained stable in Austria and Slovenia. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (14.4% to 16.8%), Greece (26.3% to 28.0% between November 2012 and November 2013), Croatia (17.4% to 18.8%), Italy (11.8% to 12.9%) and the Netherlands (6.0% to 7.1%). The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (14.3% to 11.5% between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013), Portugal (17.6% to 15.3%), Hungary (11.1% to 8.8% between December 2012 and December 2013), Ireland (13.8% to 11.9%), and Lithuania (12.8% to 11.3%).“

Employment and growth

It becomes evident that apart from the unseen before unemployment rates in the south of Eurozone, unemployment increases even in Holland, a core EU country. Of course there are good reasons for all those negative developments. Deleveraging and rebalancing of financial accounts by all and every economic agent has spread from the sovereigns and the banking sector to consumers and private businesses. As stated above, if the small increases in the export order books of industrial firms were not real, this core economic sector would have receded and with it, the anemic overall growth would have been reversed towards the negative part of the graph.

Unfortunately, the news from the rest of the world is not encouraging and the demand for European exports may fall sharply. The expected outflow of capital from the developing world may accelerate. If this will be the case, a large number of developing countries will be obliged to apply austerity policies, with negative repercussions on growth rates or even recession. In such an environment, EU exports will pay a dear price and the anemic growth rates will disappear.

All in all, if the EU consumer doesn’t wake up soon to trigger an internally driven strong growth Eurozone will continue oscillating above and below the zero level of the graph.


the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Where is heading Putin’s Russia?

Parliament approves EU rules requiring life-saving technologies in vehicles

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

Travel the world, find yourself

Violence in North and West Africa increasingly targeting civilian and border areas – OECD/SWAC

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Rare earths are the new battlefront in the US-China trade war. But what are they?

Scientists in Iceland are turning carbon dioxide into rock

Palestinian children’s education deeply impacted by ‘interference’ around West Bank schools, UN warns

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

Mergers: Commission approves GlaxoSmithKline’s acquisition of Pfizer’s Consumer Health Business, subject to conditions

Mergers: Commission approves the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways, subject to conditions

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

UN chief welcomes establishment of inclusive government in Central African Republic

Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019, in association with The European Sting

Coronavirus: Commission presents practical guidance on implementing the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU

Lack of access to clean water, toilets puts children’s education at risk, says UN

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

What does reimagining our energy system look like?

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

OECD joins with Japan to fight financial crime by establishing new academy

Balancing The Broken See-Saw of Gender Power Dynamics as a Medical Student

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

‘Passport to dignity’ that schools represent may expire fast, without emergency funding warns UN Palestine refugee agency

Pakistan-India crossing is a ‘Corridor of Hope’, UN chief says, wraps up visit with call for interfaith dialogue

Five years down the drain

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

How COVID-19 vaccine efforts could help defeat other diseases

How drones can help rural Africa take flight

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

Data protection: Commission decides to refer Greece and Spain to the Court for not transposing EU law

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Visa liberalisation: Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

Trump doesn’t only target Germany, aims to crack the entire EU

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

These countries have the most nuclear reactors

Primary Health Care: in a world of specializations

Humane leadership must be the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s real innovation

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

Cheese energy could power hundreds of UK homes

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

Global economy faces gravest threat since the crisis as coronavirus spreads

Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

How one traumatised child survived genocide and started a movement for mental health

The unique role of business in building social good

‘Every ventilator becomes like gold’ – a doctor’s stark warning from Italy’s Coronavirus outbreak

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

How symbiosis can help industrial clusters reach net-zero

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

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