Thursday, April 4, 2013

PIIGS Unemployment Improves Slightly

Unusual headline, huh?  I noticed some time back that there were tentative signs of the unemployment in the PIIGS countries stabilizing.  This impression is a little more pronounced with a couple more months worth of data (through Feb except for Greece through Jan).  There's no sign of this in the Europe-wide aggregates, so the picture seems to be that the core of western Europe is getting worse, while the periphery has stopped getting worse (though it's still in terrible shape).

Whether this can improve further is probably dependent on avoiding some new shock (or new act of gross mismanagement on the part of the European authorities), and in particular that everyone can shrug off what happened in Cyprus as a one-off.

1 comment:

Greg said...

By itself, change in the unemployment rate tell you little about the state of the PIIGS economies. It may be the case that some people have moved from "unemployed" to "not in the labor force", thanks to time limits on unemployment payments, or to just giving up looking for work.

In the cases of Portugal, Ireland and Greece, emigration may be a significant factor, according to Edward Hugh. Ageing and retirement may be significant influences on the raw unemployment number in Italy and Spain.

On the other hand, worsening unemployment in "core" EU countries probably does mean that things are getting worse there.

(Retry: Blogger gave me an error. Please delete if duplicate.)