Unemployment and the European Union

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

Rory O'Farrell, NERI
Rory O'Farrell, NERI

In 2013, unemployment in Germany, at 5.3 per cent, was at its lowest level since reunification. In the same year, Spain’s unemployment rate, 26.4 per cent, was at its highest level since at least the 1960s, before which reliable statistics are more difficult to come by. Austrian unemployment is also low at 4.9 per cent, and though Ireland’s nearest neighbour, the UK, has unemployment of 7.6 per cent this is simply on a par with previous recessions, such as during the early to mid 1990s.

Given the different circumstances in different countries, unemployment is not a crisis across all of Europe. However, it can still be regarded as a European crisis. Many of the problems facing countries such as Greece, Spain, and Ireland can be seen in the context of failures in European institutions, most notably in the implementation of a single currency. That said, long-term differences in unemployment can best be explained in terms of the differences between national economies, and though the EU has a role with regard to reducing national unemployment rates, this role is limited.

Read the full article here.


This appears in the latest issue of Working Notes (a publication of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice) is focused on issues related to forthcoming European elections.


Posted in: JobsMacroeconomics

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