Chart of the Day: Unemployment in Europe Is Catastrophically High and Still Getting Worse


This is from the OECD’s Employment Outlook 2013, and it shows the level of unemployment in the world’s rich countries. Joblessness in Greece and Spain is at about 27 percent, higher than the United States suffered even during the depths of the Great Depression. Portugal, Ireland, Slovakia, and Italy are at somewhat less catastrophic levels, but still in dire shape.

But here’s the worst part. See those white diamonds above each of the blue bars? That’s the OECD forecast for the end of 2014. In nearly every case, it’s equal to or higher than the current unemployment rate. Think about that: It’s been five years since the financial crisis hit, and in lots of countries unemployment is still sky-high and getting higher. It’s a ruinous and heartbreaking waste of human capital. The Economist has more here.

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