Great Graphic: Unemployment Rates Compared

The US will report the December employment figures at the end of the week.  The eurozone will report is November unemployment rate on Wednesday.   It offers a timely opportunity to take a step back and look at the big picture.

This Great Graphic shows four time series.  The white line is the eurozone's unemployment rate.  The yellow line is the US (U3) unemployment rate.  The green line is the UK's ILO measure (3-month average).  The fuchsia line is German unemployment. 

The flexibility of the US labor market, which means it is relatively easy to hire and fire employees, is will documented.  It makes it more volatility.  US unemployment rates more than the other countries here and has fallen faster.  The UK's unemployment rate did not raise as quickly or as much, but it peaked almost two years after the US peaked.  The rate of decline since 2012 has been almost the same as the US.

German unemployment entered the crisis above not only the US and UK, but the euro area as well. 
Germany's labor market is more stable than others.  It is one of the few high income countries where the unemployment rate now is below where it was at the onset of the crisis.  That said, the US and UK rates slipped below the German unemployment rate last year.   The unemployment rate for the eurozone remains elevated.  It had appeared to peak in early 2010, but rose anew as the European phase of the crisis unfolded.  It appears to have peaked now in 2013 at 12%, but has been stuck at 11.5% in the August-October period.  It is expected to be there in November too.    The risk may be a disappointing increase. 
Great Graphic: Unemployment Rates Compared Great Graphic:  Unemployment Rates Compared Reviewed by Marc Chandler on January 05, 2015 Rating: 5
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