It appears like the New Normal is merely a phrase used to describe daily records in virtually everything: the Dow Jones, the S&P, US foodstamps, sovereign bailouts, US total debt, and, today, Euro Area unemployment, which just rose to a fresh all time high 12%. From Bloomberg brief: "Euro-area unemployment rose to a record 12 percent in February and January’s figure was revised up to the same level from 11.9 percent estimated earlier, the European Union’s statistics office said. Jobless rates in January ranged between 4.9 percent in Austria and 27 percent in Greece. While rates in the euro area have risen by 1.1 percent point in the past year, unemployment has fallen by 0.6 percentage point to 7.7 percent during the same period in the U.S." Or said otherwise, European unemployment has now been rising constantly for 22 consecutive months - the longest period for deteriorating unemployment since the early 1990s, which, however, is to be expected for a continent which as we showed yesterday, has now reverted to 19th century growth rates.
The charts below are self-explanatory.
Source: Bloomberg Brief and SocGen