Saturday, July 28, 2012

European Economic Policy Gets Record Results – Spanish Unemployment Rate at Record Levels

If Creating Unemployment Were an Olympic Sport Europe Would Dominate with Gold Medals in Every Category

Sometimes economic statistics, even in advanced countries where the process is assumed to have accuracy and integrity, are unbelievable.  Unbelievable in the sense that this cannot be right, that the numbers presented just cannot be correct.  Such is the case in Spain with the announcement of its unemployment rates.

Just over 5.69 million Spaniards ended the second quarter jobless, raising the unemployment rate to a record 24.6 percent, compared with 24.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the latest national employment statistics published Friday.

Youth unemployment rose to 53 percent in the second quarter, up 1.3 percentage points from the previous quarter and 7 percentage points from a year ago.

Any person reading this will have the same reaction as The Dismal Political Economist.  Unemployment in a large, mature European economy cannot be one fourth of the population, young people cannot have an unemployment rate of over 50%.  That just cannot happen and society still function.  But no officials seem willing to state the figures are overstating the problem, so maybe it is true.

As for the reaction of policy makers in Europe and Spain there is this.

The rise in unemployment underlines the challenge faced by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to turn around an economy that is sinking further into recession and clean up public finances. As part of a new €65 billion austerity package announced earlier this year, the government is also set to lower unemployment benefits.

And one need only note that every single person who is proposing and implementing this policy has a great government job with great benefits.    Not for them the ravages of economic destitution and despair.

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