European Unemployment Hits A Record High

The euro represents 17 countries and presently they are seeing the highest unemployment rate in Europe (10.9%) which in return is pressuring another stimulus response to the currency.

The current unemployment rate is the highest since 1999 and 0.1% increase over February and a 1% increase over a year ago.  This is in contrast to the US unemployment figures which were sitting at 9.1% for August 2011 to 8.2% in March.  Spain is currently in the most difficult situation of all the euro current nations in Europe with 24.1% and then 51.1% for those under age 25.

The European debt crisis has been a three year problem for three countries – Portugal, Ireland and Greece all of which have already required a bailout for rising levels of debt.  

The recession in Europe has been widespread for two straight quarters for Greece, Spain and the Netherlands leading the eight total eurozone countries with declining economies.

Responses to the situation of these economies has been cut spending and raise taxes in order to reduce the deficits while trying to focus on efforts to stimulate long-term growth.  Economists are responding with recommendations of reducing governmental measures influencing expansion of small businesses at the same time reducing trade barriers that have impacted the various eurozone industries.

Central banks have also responded by lowing interest rates and also providing $1.3 trillion in economic stimulus with three-years loans to local banks.  Government bonds have also been purchased to ease the costs in borrowing.  However, Spain and Italy have sustained interest rate increases thus damping efforts.  At the same time higher taxes and fees have occurred to boost governmental revenue.

Even Germany’s economy has witnessed and increase in unemployment figures the second time over two years which is a indicator of their vulnerability to the wows of the euro value.

Other economic indicators are also not faring well in Europe with the manufacturing sector showing declines in employment an stock price levels resulting in Germany showing the lowest economic index since 2009 of 46.2.

In other economic indicators Austria 4% and the Netherlands 5% were the lowest unemployment figures even while the Netherlands experienced a governmental collapse resulting from disputes over economic measures. 

In the big picture of the 27 countries of Europe the unemployment rate of 10.2% was unchanged for two consecutive months and is higher than last year’s 9.4% figure.

What can be basically surmised from the current economic picture in Europe?  The measure taken to stimulate growth and economic relief over the last two years with the euro is proving a vital point.  Namely, that efforts in Europe have not resulted in an economic situation any different than the United States is experiencing now over the last 60 years with an ever rising US National debt.

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