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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Austerity fail: EU unemployment continues to rise: UPDATED

Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, reports that unemployment continues to worsen in the Eurozone, adding further evidence for the failure of the world's biggest experiment in austerity. When we last checked in in March, the January data had just been released. This week's release takes us to the end of March.

Select Unemployment Rates

Date     Eurozone     Spain     Greece     Portugal     Ireland     UK     USA   EU-27

1/2012   10.7%         23.3%    19.9%     14.8%      14.8%    8.3%  8.3%   10.1%
3/2012   10.8%         24.1%    21.7%     15.3%      14.5%    8.2%  8.2%   10.2%

Note: Greece and UK figures are for November 2011 and January 2012, rather than January and March
Source: Eurostat, 2 May 2012

 Overall, Eurozone and EU unemployment continue to worsen, although there were reductions in the UK and Ireland. However, both Britain and Ireland returned to recession, along with Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

While Friday's jobs numbers were disappointing, the U.S. is still moving in the right direction, though hardly fast enough, with positive job growth and a falling unemployment rate at 8.1%.

The good news, for both Europe and the U.S., is that Europeans are beginning to wake up to the failure of austerity. The Dutch government has collapsed over its austerity measures, and it appears that Nicholas Sarkozy will go down to defeat for the same reason. As Krugman counterposes to these results, the Right in this country is keeping up a steady drumbeat for austerity It's important that we beat back such calls, or even millions more people will suffer needlessly when their policies increase unemployment.

UPDATE: And Sarkozy goes down in another defeat for the austerity caucus.

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