Earlier today, the supposedly resurgent Eurozone reported a February unemployment number of 11.3%, which not only missed consensus but was worse than the highest estimate. This miss meant the recent steady trend of improvement would have halted if January's unemployment print of 11.3% hadn't been revised higher by 10 bps.
Still, 11.3% is better than the 11.8% reported a year ago, and as the chart below shows, the trend is certainly Europe's friend if only for the time being. One does wonder, however, how much of the improvement is due to the borrowing the BLS' favorite tradition of lowering the denominator and artificially reducing the eligible labor force by "eliminating" those who have been out of a job for a long enough period.
Statistical gimmick or no, one thing stands out: the biggest threat for Europe's future remains front and center - it is the youth (under 25) unemployment, which at 22.9%, and just barely below the 24% from a year ago. Worse, in the two most troubled European nations, Greece and Spain (with Italy not far behind), it remains well over half.
So while the ECB is desperately focused on masking the biggest issue plaguing Europe's financial system which is the several trillion in undisclosed bad loans on the books of bank balance sheets, Europe may want to address what is the real demographic timebomb, and one which assures that the current experiment will surely end in either the war or revolution predicted by Paul Tudor Jones, because when half the population spends its days without hope or a sense of responsibility, the only possible outcome is quite clear and it is also quite disastrous for European civil society.