This week’s economic and market news headlines have been dominated largely by Mario Draghi’s bond-buying program and now by an official unemployment rate of 8.1% with only 96,000 payrolls added in the United States during August. What was hardly covered was the record high unemployment rate of Greece after the official unemployment rate hit 24.4% in June after an already dismal reading of 23.5% in May.
24/7 Wall St. wanted to know something else, and not just on Greece and how its massive unemployment rate has risen. We want to know which other nations have the worst unemployment rates in the world. Greece is not even the worst.
It is important to realize that the situation in Europe has still gotten worse since all of the last unemployment reports, so it will not be a huge shock if that dismal figure from Greece (and elsewhere) gets even worse for July and for August. Mario Draghi’s pledge to do whatever it takes was roughly a month after the end of June. The global growth story has still been slowing elsewhere too, so we really are wanting to see which nations are suffering along with Greece.
In order to qualify, a nation had to be economically important enough to be covered in the global economic charts published each week in The Economist. This of course omits many smaller economies where unemployment pressure may be very high, but many people in the world might not even be able to locate those nations on a map. The euro area was given an unemployment rate of 11.3% in July, and to qualify for the worst employment status here a nation had to be at least one point above that average.
Perhaps even more important than just having the highest unemployment rates is what the prospects are for each of these nations. For broader expectations ahead, we have quoted the latest data from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The nine nations with the worst unemployment rates are listed as Poland, Egypt, Slovakia, Ireland, Portugal, Latvia, Greece, South Africa and Spain.
The list has been put in ascending order of unemployment from those nations in bad shape to really bad shape to those in dire straits. We also have included the CIA World Factbook data showing the most current population estimates as well as the 2011 GDP estimates on a purchasing power parity basis. We have included our own takes on these nations for their long-term prospects as well.
Here is how the rest of the world’s weakest employment economies measure up.