Scary Statistics

Zero Hedge has a chart graphing out youth unemployment in the euro zone, along with some of the troubled countries. The numbers are worrying, to put it mildly.

Portugal is at 30.7%, Greece at 46.6%. Spain is at a mind-boggling 51.4%! You can see the chart here, and read their comments here.

Even after we get out of the current crisis, structural reforms are desperately needed if we are to see substantial growth in Europe over the coming decades. I am not knowledgable enough to say whether these statistics are a result of insider-favouring labour market laws, poor education systems, an insufficiently flexible private sector out of alignment with current global demand, or a number of other plausible culprits. But causes need to be identified, and reforms implemented. I doubt that a society can hold together with unemployment levels such as these.

Political leaders (and voters!) ought to find some inspiration in Alex Tabarrok’s recent book on innovation.

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