A new set of unemployment data are out from Eurostat, and if you think the UK is in trouble, which it is, still have a look at Greece or Spain or parts of Central & Eastern Europe. Just to put things in a wider perspective, as a certain tendency to see ourselves as the worst off on the entire planet seem to persist. Again, we’re not doing well at all, but… see for yourself!
(As always, you can click on the charts to see larger versions.)
Germany, in the meantime, is the big exception in the European labour market, with the unemployment rate coming down to 5.5% from an already-low 6.8% in the year to October. But here, too, not all is rosy as a large proportion of jobs continue to be seated in the low-income segment and real salaries have been falling for at least five years. The widening income gap also shows in German retail sales, which have failed to take off in real terms in recent years, even after the economy began its breathtaking post-recessionary bounce-back in 2010.
The situation is serious, and it doesn’t look likely to improve materially in the near future.