Eurostat has released unemployment rates for the European Union for October. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the level was 10.7%, down slightly from 10.8% in September. Greece’s jobless rate is nowhere near these levels, as it posted a figure of 24.6% in August. Greece’s reporting periods lag most of the rest of Europe.
The unemployment rate for Greece masks a worse problem, which is that the jobless level among the young, or those under 25, was 47.9% in August. Spain is the only other EU nation with a situation that is so terrible. Its youth unemployment rate for October was 47.7%.
The Greek numbers show how impossible it is for the country to pull out of its deep recession, which in turn cripples its ability to pay back billions of dollars in sovereign debt. Greece’s total debt load is already over 150% of gross domestic product.
When it comes to the subject of austerity versus stimulus for the Greek economy, it is hard to support the argument that austerity can drive a sharp increase in jobs. That leaves Greece a future without a quarter of its adult working population, and without any end or improvement in sight.
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