Yikes: If we thought our unemployment rate was bad now

posted at 8:58 pm on August 31, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

It is bad, of course. More than three years with more than a (rather generously calculated) eight percent unemployment rate is unacceptable and egregious. But things can still stand to get a whole lot worse — and they will, if we continue to follow the proffered example of debt accumulation that Europe has laid out for us. Bloomberg reports:

Euro-area unemployment rose to a record and inflation quickened more than economists forecast as rising energy costs threaten to deepen the economic slump.

The jobless rate in the economy of the 17 nations using the euro was 11.3 percent in July, the same as in June after that month’s figure was revised higher, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since the data series started in 1995. Inflation accelerated to 2.6 percent in August from 2.4 percent in the prior month, an initial estimate showed in a separate report. That’s faster than the 2.5 percent median forecast of 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey. …

The European Central Bank, which will publish its latest economic projections next week, said in June that the euro-area economy may shrink 0.1 percent this year, with inflation averaging 2.4 percent. The ECB aims to keep annual gains in consumer prices just below zero.

And as ZeroHedge summarizes, the youth unemployment rate — having long since shot way past alarming — continues to worsen.

When we last looked at youth unemployment in Europe, things were stabilizing a little, though at extremely lofty levels. With the release of July’s data, the situation has deteriorated rapidly; Euro-Zone youth unemployment hs now ticked back up to its euro-era record-high of 22.6% (18-year highs). … Italy was the hardest hit, back above 35% with its largest rise in youth joblessness in 5 months, Ireland rose back above 30% for its biggest rise in 11 months as France jumped to two-year highs and Spain and Greece are practically deadlocked with ~53% of their younger-generation out of work – new all-time records.

Take a good look — this is where our future is headed right now if we don’t make some sharp turns, and soon. Or not. No really, by all means, federal government: Please keep on with our monstrously unsustainable habit of spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t need — it’s not like our country’s prosperity or my generation’s level of opportunity are at stake, or anything.


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