Unemployment and the global crisis: UK lecture cancelled
Is Britain justified in lecturing the rest of Europe about how to cope with the global crisis? A couple of weeks ago I looked at some comparative statistics that suggest not: our inflation performance is below average and the ratio of our GDP per capita to the European average has been coming down for years. Today’s European unemployment statistics suggest another economic dimension in which we are not well-placed for de haut en bas hectoring:
May 2008 is an unemployment turning point – unemployment rates began rising after that in both the Euro Area and the EU as a whole. This chart measures what happened to unemployment rates after that point – being above zero means that things are still worse than they were then. Germany gets the gold star; the UK’s performance is pretty similar to the Euro Area and to France. By European standards UK unemployment is still fairly low, but that we can now see is due to our achievements before 2008, we’re no better than middling when it comes to how we’ve fared since then.