Grim unemployment stats du jour | FT Alphaville

Grim unemployment stats du jour

Eurozone unemployment depression is naturally even more divergent on a regional level. Data released by Eurostat reveals just how divergent and paints a fairly consistent, and depressing, picture. So we have Salzburg in Austria sitting pretty with only 2.5 per cent of its populations in the jobless category while Andalucia in Spain has to grapple with a rate of 30.4 per cent. The youth unemployment divide is even starker – 54.4 per cent in Andalucia, Spain versus 4.3 per cent in Tubingen, Germany.

Overall, eight of the ten regions with the highest levels of unemployment were in Spain, while Greece played host to one and France another. The youth unemployment stats share the pain a little more equally between the same three countries. Austria and Germany dominate the opposite columns.

As mentioned, the overall trend is obviously not new but the gap between the two regional extremes is striking. In an ideal world, these imbalances would be smoothed out as job-searchers moved from country to country in search of work. However, not many can see an Andalucian invasion of Salzburg any time soon, for a whole host of obvious reasons ranging from educational to political, and of course language.

As Amartya Sen said in the Guardian:

Competitiveness can, of course, at least partly be recovered through slashing wages and living standards, but this would lead to great suffering (much of it unnecessary), and generate understandable popular resistance. Sharp increases in inequality between regions can be remedied, to be sure, by large-scale migration within Europe (for example, from Greece to Germany). But it is hard to assume that persistent population inflow to the same countries would not generate political resistance there.

You can click through the image for the full doc:

And the overall trend, which puts average eurozone unemployment at 11.1 per cent (again, click through for the doc):

Related links:
The Eurozone youth of today – FT Alphaville
Spanish unemployment falls in June – FT
Youth unemployment in OECD nations – FT (with cool interactive graph)