Floyd Norris notes that after enjoying a much lower jobless rtae than the Europeans, the US has caught up with the continent — and is poised to pass them:
“FOR many years, unemployment in the United States was lower than in Western Europe, a fact often cited by people who argued that the flexibility inherent in the American system — it is easier to both hire and fire workers than in many European countries — produced more jobs. That is no longer the case. Unemployment in the United States has risen to European averages, and seems likely to pass them when international data for April is calculated . . .
In March, the American unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent, the same as the average rate for the first 15 members of the European Union — the countries that were part of the group before it began to expand into Eastern Europe.”
Of course, I am all about the chart:
click for larger graphic
chart courtesy of NYT
U.S. Jobless Rate Likely to Pass Europe’s
NYT, May 22, 2009