The Horror Chart Tracing Europe's Jobs Crisis

Europe’s latest unemployment statistics are a horror story.


Apart from a false revival in 2011, the soaring line at the end of the graph shows almost uninterrupted job losses in the European Union since the global financial crisis — and rising sharply over the past two years as the Eurozone has lapsed back into recession after governments introduced sweeping austerity measures.

There’s misery in the raw numbers too: more than 19 million people out of work in the Eurozone area. Across the broader EU there were 26 million unemployed.

An Ernst & Young economic advisor told AP: “The economic and social consequences of high unemployment continue to represent one of the most significant threats to the future of the eurozone.”

The worst affected countries are:

  • Greece (26.4%)
  • Spain (26.3%)
  • Portugal (17.5%)

Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.4%), and Luxembourg (5.5%), are performing best.

To compare the situation with Australia, consider the x-axis on the graph above starts at 6% – so Australia’s unemployment rate in recent years wouldn’t even get on the chart.

The last time unemployment in Australia was above 6% was back in July 2003.

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