The European Commission’s Eurostat published the EU and the Eurozone unemployment numbers today. According to Eurostat the Eurozone unemployment is now at 10.8%, a level not seen since 1997. The last time the unemployment rate was this high, the euro did not yet exist. This helps explain the double-dip consumer recession already in place.
One of the scarier components of the latest result is the spike in EU’s and Eurozone’s youth unemployment. Both are above 21% and trending higher.
There is one unsettling point about the Eurostat unemployment data however. If you zoom in on the Eurozone unemployment rate most recent data, the chart is actually a straight line. A straight line in any monthly data is a suspect. But in a seasonally adjusted unemployment measure for the whole of Eurozone that increases by exactly 10bp for 8 months in a row just looks “smoothed”. People suspect China of cooking economic numbers, but the European Commission? If anyone has an explanation, send/post your comment.