While the surging unemployment rates across Europe are the most troublesome for politicians (and the extreme youth unemployment even more so), if we take a closer and more 'local' view of the stress, it is interestingly more regional than national. While Spain and Greece stand out, the unemployment rate, as analyzed in the chart below by Flute Thoughts blog, does not follow national borders. Northern Italy, for example, seems to have more in common with the German-speaking regions of Europe than with Southern Italy; France appears more peripheral than core; and the former eastern Germany still has not caught up with the west (so much for fiscal integration). Eastern Europe also has some striking differences as we suspect the ovals are slowly collapsing in on themselves as the reality of lower revenues from more unemployed procyclically pulls the euro-zone into depression.
Via Flute Thoughts: The European Unemployment Map
Yesterday I compared Italy and Spain, and noted that when it comes to unemployment the worst regions in Italy have roughly the same unemployment rate as the best regions in Spain. This led me on to making this map (using data from Eurostat) to show unemployment rates for all EU and EES regions
The map gives some hints about where there might be problems - the unemployed who have debts have more difficulties keeping up with their loan payments - the unemployed don't pay very much in taxes and thus don't contribute to the government coffers - the unemployed are rather more prone to engage in activities such as social unrest.
The biggest problem is obviously in Spain, which stands out like a sore thumb! Greece has nearly the same level of unemployment, but Spain is much larger. Add to this the fact that the Spaniards are up to their ears in debt after the popping of their monumental real estate bubble...
It's also interesting to see how unemployment often does not follow national borders. Northern Italy, for example, seems to have more in common with the German-speaking area of Europe than with southern Italy. Sometimes, however, the national borders make a big difference, e.g. between Spain and Portugal.
Also note that France look a lot more like the central part of Italy than it looks like Germany when it comes to unemployment. Bienvenue au club PIIGSF, monsieur Hollande!
The difference in Germany between former East Germany and West Germany is still clearly visible, as the east still hasn't caught up with the west.
Another striking difference is that between Czechia and Slovakia, where Czechia looks like Germany, but Slovakia (except the Brno region) has a high unemployment rate that increases towards the east.