EU Unemployment

The latest set of unemployment figures have been published by Eurostat.  A day after the Commission President said (or at least as it was drafted for him to say):

I think we can say that the Irish economy is now turning the corner. The latest positive figures on employment confirm that when there is determination, the programmes can work and indeed Ireland is already on positive territory when it comes to growth.

the unemployment news-release from Eurostat says:

The highest increases were registered in Greece (20.8% to 27.0% between November 2011 and November 2012), Cyprus (9.9% to 14.7%), Portugal (14.7% to 17.6%) and Spain (23.6% to 26.2%).

and has this graph:

Euroarea inflation is expected to fall to 1.8% in February.

[Aside: Anyone have any idea why Eurostat give priority and headline status in their releases to the EZ17 figures rather than the EU27 figures?]

12 replies on “EU Unemployment”

2011-2013 looks like a 60 degree …. +1 with Stephen

The equivalent of 20 million or everyone in The Nethelands on the dole

Irish 14.1 + Emigration: I’d appreciate a recalculation from a math/stat head

The irrationality of [EZ economic policy] is not an argument against its existance; rather it is a conditon of it.

[Nietzsche reloaded in the context of this blog’s ‘eternal recurring’ of the lunacy of allowing the financial system to hijack European Democracy and turning its citizenry into serfs; where is Spartacus?]

@ Seamus Coffey

With regard to your question, one could hazard a guess that Eurostat is simply recognising a reality viz. that a single currency requires deeper cooperation in the social area than has hitherto been contemplated and is organising its statistics accordingly.

That the UK is the likely leading source of blocage can hardly be in doubt. However, there is cearly no longer much patience with Cameron.

Given the result of the by-election which saw UKIP ahead, there appears to be growing disenchantment even within his own party (and with the Chancellor).

Brendan Walsh introduces a brilliant analysis (placing DOCM and other ordoliberal financial spinners and market fundamentalists in their place) relevant to this thread above:

Paul de Grauwe and Yuemei Ji

Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implications

Eurozone policy seems driven by market sentiment. This column argues that fear and panic led to excessive, and possibly self-defeating, austerity in the south while failing to induce offsetting stimulus in the north. The resulting deflation bias produced the double-dip recession and perhaps more dire consequences. As it becomes obvious that austerity produces unnecessary suffering, millions may seek liberation from ‘euro shackles’.

Barroso cannot be fired. Van Rompuy and Rehn cannot be fired. No matter how bad they do and how pointless their policies they will still retain their jobs.

At what point do those clowns end up ruining their gravy train

@ Seamus Coffey

As the first link is behind a paywall, herewith the full text which makes sense – hopefully – of my comments.

“Creating an EU apprentice status and starting dialogue on a minimum salary set at national level are some of the proposals made by the French and German ministers for labour to reinforce the social dimension of the EU.

“Social Europe has broken down. Structural factors explain this breakdown: it is difficult to move forward when there are 27 participants, there is the temptation of individualism, etc. The situation is worsened by the financial crisis. And yet, we will only emerge from this crisis if the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is reinforced,” German Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her French counterpart, Michel Sapin, write in an unofficial document, which they handed to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in the margins of the 28 February Employment and Social Affairs Council.

These proposals are part of the ongoing dialogue at the Council on reinforcing the EMU. The two ministers suggest four areas to focus on: young people; the evolutions of the labour market; protection of workers; and the governance of social Europe. The most innovative proposals include supporting an EU targeted and broadened mobility scheme for first jobs. This would be proposed to a certain number of young people, together with more general help (housing benefits, for example), and would have a cross-border European dimension. When it comes to the protection of European workers, the ministers recommend safeguarding workers’ professional paths: this would enhance their mobility by guaranteeing that the rights they already have will hold fast – regardless of geography and time.

The ministers are also calling for the establishment of a minimum salary defined at national level, which would guarantee a decent salary for all European workers. “We could discuss a mechanism that would leave the choice of the vehicle (law, committee or collective agreement) used to set this minimum minima salary,” said von der Leyen and Sapin.


The employment and social affairs ministers belonging to the Party of European Socialists (PES) also adopted a joint statement, on 27 February, on social Europe. The document, presented in Brussels by Ministers Sapin, Nicolas Schmit (Luxemobourg) and Rudolf Hundstorfer (Austria), argues in favour of the implementation of a social progress pact, a social protocol, an employment and social investment programme, common social standards, and enhanced European social dialogue.

More surprisingly, the ministers came up with the suggestion of using enhanced cooperation to introduce common social standards (decent working time, common framework for long-term unemployment, a framework regulation to guarantee decent salaries, a legal framework for responsible restructuring, etc), which the member states are blocking.

“In case no consensus or qualified majority is found to introduce these common social standards, we as Social Democrats and Socialists must raise the question whether progress can be achieved by applying the procedure of enhanced cooperation,” the ministers write.

The French-German document is available at > Search = 331104


The heads of state and government agreed at the European Council of 13-14 December 2012 to enhance the social aspect of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). During the December Council, its president pledged to present – at the June 2013 Council – measures that could be taken – and a road map with deadlines – in four priority fields: the coordination of national reforms; the social aspects of the EMU (including social dialogue); agreements for competitiveness and growth; and the solidarity mechanisms that pertain to these agreements.”

There are a number of interesting aspects to this, not least that von der Leyen has not always seen eye to eye with Merkel (and is a possible rival), the hesitation waltz that the latter has practiced since the start of the crisis continues, also in respect of the introduction of a minimum wage in Germany, and the various initiatives undertaken by her have resulted in the removal of large elements of the fundamental executive authority necessary for any government to function internationally.

The other interesting aspect is the emergence of what could be described as real party politics at a European level.

I know nothing about work permits for overseas tech experts or why the government is currently fast tracking them because some MNC’s are saying they can’t get any .net programmers (or whatever they are called) locally but…….

Instead of fast tracking visas for overseas workers, why don’t we train appropriate unemployed Irish people with the right aptitude? There are plenty of bright people on the dole who I’m sure would welcome the training.

Money gets thrown around but does it get thrown in the right place?

@PR Guy

2000+ jobs available pa but the universities, with the resources to educate/train such people, are failing to attract such students over the past decade or more … a labor market anomaly … and over the past decade or so policy has failed to find a fix … spose they all want to become accountants, doctors, lawers or PR Guys&Gals …

Comments are closed.