Euro Mass Unemployment Now Worse Than Early-2009 Collapse
March 3, 2012 • 1:49PM

In January 2009, in the spreading global financial collapse after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, unemployment in the 17-nation so-called Eurozone reached an official 10.2%. It is higher than that now, having hit 10.7% in January according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office. This is by far the highest unemployment in the euro's dismal history.

The official European unemployment rate jumped by 0.3% from December, Eurostat reported. Inexplicably—considering that the whole European economy is contracting at an accelerating rate under suicidal austerity—the unemployment report was called "completely unexpected" by economists quoted in the media. At the same time the Europe-wide inflation rate of Eurostat rose to 2.7%.

Both of these figures have to be taken with an ocean-full of salt; the real ratios are much higher. The calculation of official unemployment rates by governments is standardized throughout the OECD since 1999, so the figures omit workers who have stopped looking for work, dropped out of the labor force or are forced to work part-time, just as in the United States. As for the inflation rate, the only thing the Eurostat report shows is that it's rising.

Unemployment was officially 19.9% in Greece in January and 23.1% in Spain, which is about to be hit with the "Greece treatment" by the EU and EC bureacracy. But it was also 14.4% in Ireland and 9.4% in France. Unemployment among young workers is officially near 50% now for all of the "peripheral" countries, and 40% in France and Britain.

It is on this contracting real-economic base that the European Central Bank and national central banks in its system have recently printed over $1 trillion in new money supply, driving toward hyperinflation.