New Eurozone unemployment numbers are out – revealing that more than 24 million people in the EU are out of work – the highest number ever recorded. And it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to those familiar with the crippling austerity measures sweeping the continent that those nations with the highest rates of unemployment are the ones that have fully embraced austerity.
Of the top five nations with the highest unemployment rates – four of them – Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland – have been forced by the EU and the IMF to cut government spending and lay off public sector workers in return for bailouts. Those conditions are clearly not working as those nations continue to sink deeper and deeper into economic ruin.
This same dynamic is being played out in the United States – where states that have embraced austerity on average have much higher rates of unemployment than states that have actually increased spending since the 2007 financial crisis. Yet more evidence that austerity doesn’t work – and the only people who claim it does work are Republicans like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who just want to see the economy tank before the November elections.