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US Jobless Rate Now Matches Europe

From an outraged Agence France-Pressee:

A man carries a coffin on which is written "IMF politics" next to an EU flag on which is written "20 million unemployed"

Eurozone unemployment hits 10-year high

BRUSSELS (AFP) — The unemployment rate in the 16 euro countries climbed to a 10-year high of 9.5 percent in May as companies cut jobs to survive Europe’s worst post-war recession, according to EU data on Thursday.

Some 273,000 jobs were lost across the eurozone in May as the unemployment rate rose to the highest point since May 1999, the European Union’s Eurostat data agency estimated…

Although activity in the recession-hit European economy is beginning to pick up, many companies are still shedding workers to adjust to slack demand for their goods and services in Europe and abroad.

The May eurozone unemployment rate was up from 9.3 percent in April and 7.4 percent in May 2008.

Meanwhile, in the 27-nation EU the unemployment rate rose in May to 8.9 percent, hitting the highest level since June 2005 as 385,000 jobs were lost…

A major headache for European politicians for decades, unemployment had been steadily falling ahead of the current downturn, reaching a record low of 7.2 percent in March 2008.

However, with the rapid deterioration in the economy, the unemployment rate has steadily climbed higher since then.

Isn’t it wonderful? We are just like Europe.

The Democrats must be so pleased.

Still, when was the last time that unemployment in the United States matched that of Europe?

(Click to enlarge.)

Probably not in our lifetimes.

By the way, the above chart is from this article by the New York Times:

U.S. Jobless Rate Likely to Pass Europe’s

Published: May 22, 2009

FOR many years, unemployment in the United States was lower than in Western Europe, a fact often cited by people who argued that the flexibility inherent in the American system — it is easier to both hire and fire workers than in many European countries — produced more jobs.

That is no longer the case. Unemployment in the United States has risen to European averages, and seems likely to pass them when international data for April is calculated.

“The current economic crisis,” wrote John Schmitt, Hye Jin Rho and Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a research organization in Washington, “has turned the case for the U.S. model almost entirely on its head.” …

The Times only brought this up to show how wrong it is to think the US business model is better than socialist Europe’s.

Talk about turning things on their heads.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

23 Responses to “US Jobless Rate Now Matches Europe”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    How’s that stimulus stimulating you?

    I am stunned – my oldest daughter got kicked out – no money, no job and < a year to her bachelor degree (which she had just started back to school when this was thrown her way), my youngest daughter and husband also are < a year to their degrees – and also must seek employment. Not to mention that I finish my class this summer and have to wonder –

    In this taxed to generational death, over entitlement mentality, government seizing corporations and possible enviro-wacko job killing bill passage country –
    Will my 22 year old with almost zero employment history, me at mid-50s with an sketchy employment history of temp job after temp job and my hubby (a disabled vet – which brings it's own baggage) be able to find even working poor level jobs?

    I will start praying that someone pushes through one of the lawsuits that forces The One ™ to prove that he is indeed eligible to be President. (Which one has to feel, if it were true – he'd been there and done that – to show how 'extreme' and 'out there' right wingers are).

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Finally! we’re like Europe!! Yea!!!

    (ack gag)

  3. pdsand says:

    What will they say if heaven forbid Obama leaves enough of the capitalist system in place that the U.S. is able to recover and once again have unemployment below the statistical norm? Will the world rejoice and proclaim capitalism vindicated? Did the same experts and media proclaim that the last 50 years had proven the worth of capitalism? Oh yeah that’s right. The result are always “unconclusive” until one freak circumstance comes along and the facts for the first time in history for a brief time don’t flat out disprove communism.

    Never mind the fact that Obama is currently destroying capitalism in this country, and this crisis and the unemployment that has ensued is not due to a failure of free enterprise, but due to a failure of Obama and the fear he incites.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    Lookit that chart.. VROOM from Spring 08 onward.. right about the time O-blah-blah began his majestic comeback against Hill-dog in the primaries and Goldman Sachs decided they had a sound enough candidate and plan to steal and destroy the United States of America.

    Half a year later you have TARP and pro-tem blah-blah already taking over the presidency and there’s no sign of a rebound. Ever. Porkulus. Porkubus. Porkuget. Laugh and tax. Now inflation (Bush’s fault).

    This is all well and according to plan up in the cabinet.

    • proreason says:

      The Drooler/FannieMae mortgages-for-deadbeats situation was well known in October 2007, perhaps even a bit before then.

      Yet, we had 6 months of employment normalcy after that “crisis” had been exposed.

      And from the chart Steve showed in the thread on unemployment, the GNP continued to rise for the first 2 quarters of 2008. Other factors were calm as well. CPI was only slightly higher than normal. The market was off, but within historic norms, and corporate profit were still good. Consumer spending was strong as well. The “storm clouds” up to the late summer, were more like fluffy cumulous nimbus puffballs.

      When the crisis simply wouldn’t pop, and McCain took the lead in the polls coming out of the GOP convention (thanks to Palin), the Obamy backers couldn’t stand it any more, and decided to create some serious chaos. Market action jumped like a rocket that Monday (Sep 9), and by the next weekend, they had tanked Lehman Bros. On Sep 18th they manufactured a huge run Money Market run which allowed Paulsen to declare the end of civilization would occur if he didn’t immediately get 700B to “save” the financial system.

      By Nov 4, the market had dropped 20% (the most ever in the 2 months prior to a national election), they had created a panic in the country as 401K and savings had fallen 35-40%. McCain sank as he clearly decided he didn’t want to deal with the mess,………………..and an easily-manipulated adolscent communist waltzed into the White House.

      I hadn’t made the connection with Goldman Sachs until recently, but that is becoming clear now that we know the new GS CEO is collecting his 68M bonus, despite a world/American economy on life support. And the GS connection also explains Paulsen’s motivations, which until recently, seemed mysterious to me. I had attributed the chaos to Soros and unnamed others (including foreign governments), but I think you are right about Sachs. They are as guilty as Soros and the Middle East couontries that conspired to yank McCains key issue by dropping the price of oil by 75% in 8 weeks during the same period of the perfect storm in Sept and Oct 2008.

    • tranquil.night says:

      P.R. you have a greater command over the details of the timeline here than anyone I’ve seen on TV yet. I remember watching the Dem Primaries in 2008 and not even really being conscious of any ‘real’ economic dangers (hadn’t found this site yet obviously) but I did know about the housing bubble. I also remember a very concerted effort by Republicans and the Bush admin to reform it that got tanked by the Lib congress. So whatever legislative battle happened back then, probably around 2007 as you said, I’ll have to look into it but I imagine you might find some of the seeds of this entire scenario – knowing now that it was their ace in the hole to tanking our system.

      Sachs names are littered all throughout this, from the beginning in the Clinton admin to end. I contend again the belief that GS is just the cookie jar for the new liberal brigade, amongst whom is Soros and the others who have lots of money growing in the pot. Chances are there is no clear leader or defined supreme ideology but rather several conflicting ones like the environmentalists, the pure financialists, the social philanthropists.

      Or Satan’s incarnate just leads the thing. Who knows. Maybe its Saddam Hussein back from the dead.

      Unrelated, since the international economic collapse began, the leading European countries that have maintained some sort of fiscal discipline (Sarkozy, Merkel) with their budgets have not suffered nearly as grievously as the Obamanites (Spain, Gordon Brown). The EU has faced a much broader set of challenges to its system over the past 6 months as well, whereas the US is all stress that is Obama-induced – and now we’re decelerating faster than them. That’s just impressive.

  5. Media_man says:

    I’m sure once we pass Cap ‘n Trade we’ll blow right past the EU & approach Spain’s heady unemployment rate of 18%! And the Dems & MSM will blame it all on the greedy Capitalists. I’m definitely moving to Canada. The politicians who run it may be liberals but at least they’re not retarded.

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    Gee, I feel so continental now. Thanks.

  7. bill says:

    My question is simpler — How many times do you have to be wrong before you are no longer considered and expert.

  8. U NO HOO says:

    Have to go nuclear power now.

  9. retire05 says:

    I have a question: we lost 467,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate increase 1/10th of 1%.

    So, if we are a nation of 303 million, 10% would be 30.3 million,. 1% would be 3.03 million and 1/10th of 1% would be 303,000.

    So how do we lost almost a half million jobs, 167,000 more than 1/10th of 1% of our entire population and the rate only goes up 1/10th of 1%?

    Is my math funny or is someone cooking the books?

    • proreason says:

      They adjusted the prior month (fewer jobs lost than first announced). The rest is probably rounding.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Good question retire05 – worse than that, only about half of the population is included in the job demographic base for unemployment calculations, i.e., the percentage impact should be much greater since the base is smaller…

      Of course, it could have something to do with trailing months, i.e., moving baselines – not sure. Will try some research if I get a chance.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      It is simple division: number of unemployed divided by the total workforce. PR has it right and I was on the right track – some other adjustment softened the quotient.

    • retire05 says:

      OK, we lost 485K jobs in May, adjusted up from the original number of 345K, and how much did the unemployment rate jump from April? 1/2 a percent?

      So if 485K equals .005%, then how does 470K equal only .001%?

    • proreason says:

      This link has the story:


      The revised May to June difference is a 216,000 increase in unemployment vs a Civilian Labor force of about 155M. The increase in unemployment was actually .15%, but they round.

      The smallish restatement of May doesn’t bring the 216K up to 467K jobs lost, but they do seasonal adjustments which might be the rest of the gap.

      These are long-standing official stats, so it’s unlikely political finagling is involved.

  10. wirenut says:

    Retire, Euro-right! Looks like shell game mathematics or chicken scratchings. Arnold said it best, I neeeeeed ah vehcaasen, sigh!

  11. beautyofreason says:

    Considering I’m no longer looking for a job and now gearing up for two years in grad school, I’m not even included in these statistics.

    My father runs a dental practice and he recently let go of a full-time employee. He hired another one but at only a part-time position, in order to reduce spending. Business is down. No pay raises for the employees this year. People can no longer come in for routine cleanings or more serious procedures.

    My father is still doing reasonably well, but if Obama’s health care plan goes through he will retire and sell the practice. He spoke with his accountant and already estimates that health insurance requirements for employee coverage and other potential measures under the Obama administration will increase his costs by over ten thousand dollars.

    Excessive regulations and restrictions put a noose around businesses and the economy. In Britain some NHS appointments take so long to schedule that the people pull their own teeth. Screw Europe. I shiver when I think of what could happen here.

    • proreason says:

      “Excessive regulations and restrictions put a noose around businesses and the economy”

      By design.

  12. proreason says:

    You are morally obligated to sign your entire income and assets over to the government.

    Do it today.

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