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Europe Is Doomed: US unemployment jumps to 13.5%

by Jerome a Paris Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 09:34:05 AM EST

Jobless Rate Surges to 7.2% in December

The economy lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, government figures showed, the most since World War II ended in 1945. Nearly two million of those losses were in the last four months alone, a sign that the recession accelerated as the financial crisis intensified, and should drag on well into the new year.

(...)

the unemployment rate, which is calculated using a separate survey of households, jumped 0.4 percentage point to 7.2%, the highest since January 1993.

(...)

By some broader measures, labor-market conditions are even worse than the main numbers suggest. When marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers are included, the rate of unemployed or underemployed workers reached 13.5% last month, up almost six percentage points from a year earlier.

This is clearly a sign of US economic superiority over Europe, as it shows vibrantly flexible labor markets, where companies are not afraid to hire because they know they can fire people at a later point. It's just as clearly a sign that the US will come out of this crisis faster than Europe, as it goes through structural adjustment a lot quicker than the rigidly bound European countries and companies.

Soon, as buyers take advantage of unprecedented low prices in the more transparent US housing market to make bargains (and profits) there will be a dynamic bounce from recent lows and a new economic surge is around the corner, leaving old and grumpy Europe behind, once again.

:: ::

Oh, psst, the "real" unemployment rate was already at 13.3% in the US in June 2006. I wonder what that calculation would give us today...


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The chilling thing is that if you could go on in that vein for about 500 words or so you would stand a good chance of getting it onto the opinion page of the WSJ... maybe with the title "War is Peace"?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 09:40:38 AM EST
Would it be unreasonable to add the 4.9% of unincluded figures from the original calculations straight on? or has the  current Iraq adventure increased the size of the military, or increased the size of the disabled population? I doubt the second one by enough to be significant, but we may have seen some move to reclasify people as disabled, and hence move them out of the current figures.

which all in all would give us 18.4%

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 09:44:29 AM EST
You forgot to say Europe is "sclerotic".

Shame on you!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 09:54:36 AM EST
Not to mention slow, lumbering, hidebound, bureaucratic, backward-looking...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 10:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and 27 tongue-tied.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 10:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It did sound like I was missing one of the key words! :)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 10:42:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, where's the Europe.Is.Doomed. picture?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 10:28:03 AM EST
I've been a bit out of the loop, but what's the Europe Is Doomed picture?
by Nomad on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 01:24:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Created for the story list, which should be updated (sigh)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 03:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the US gets much worse I think Europe might actually be doomed!
by paving on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 02:59:15 PM EST
It's really much worse when you look at the state level.

I mocked up the state level returns, Europe and the US look virtually identical.  And France and Italy are floating just under 8% right now, and remember that EU numbers are more comparable to the US u-6 figures that place current US unemployment at +13%.

The US numbers are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the EU figures come from Eurostat.

It's Spain and Portugal that make it look so bad, and the truth of that is that a lot of underground employment of people on unemployment rolls happens in those countries.  Something like 10% + of the Spanish economy is underground.


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Jan 9th, 2009 at 05:51:38 PM EST
What percentage of the US economy is underground? and do the figures exist state by state?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 10th, 2009 at 09:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NCPA - BA #273 - The Underground Economy
The European Union has recently decided to fight the encroachment of dollars into its nations' underground economies by printing 500 euro notes (about $500), which will be much more attractive to drug dealers and the like because the volume of cash necessary for large transactions will be reduced by 80 percent over the U.S. $100 bill. The euro is the new European currency that will soon become the single currency of Europe, replacing the French franc, German mark and Italian lira, among others. Professor Kenneth Rogoff of Princeton believes that the European decision to print 500 euro notes is an explicit effort to compete for the business of the underground economy. (The U.S. Government has not printed notes larger than $100 since 1946 and withdraws from circulation those that come into its possession.)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 10th, 2009 at 09:49:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Professor Kenneth Rogoff seems to be unaware of the fact that the Germans previously issued 1.000 DM bills, which makes the decision to print 500 Euro notes quite straightforward.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Jan 11th, 2009 at 03:58:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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