We were the first to note the dire state of youth unemployment in Europe, as this terrible social situation just goes from bad to worse this month. Whether youth unemployment is a proxy for sales of PlayStations or for the much more critical likelihood of widespread social unrest and eventually the dissolution of Europe’s political compact is unclear but one thing is for sure – Europe’s leaders will be watching this chart and quaking as nation after nation breaks to all-time high levels of joblessness for the critical tinder-box of Under-25 year-olds. The Euro-zone youth unemployment rate is back over 22% for the first time since September 1994. With Spain and Greece over 50% (and rising) and Italy now joining Ireland over 35% at the same time as Germany’s youth unemployment falls below 8% for the first time since May 1993 – one can only surmise the rising tensions between the haves and the have-nots (even as Germany’s PMI disappoints).
For comparison, the US is not exactly sunshine and roses, with 16-17 year-olds back near 30% unemployment and 18-19 year-olds back over 22% – even as 20-22 year-olds improve gradually.