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Poverty among the unemployed now close to 50 per cent in the EU

Last week, Eurostat released it updated data covering people who are at risk of monetary poverty. In the press release/news page (February 26, 2018) – Almost half the unemployed at risk of monetary poverty in the EU – we learn that 48.7 per cent of unemployed persons in the EU “were at risk of poverty” in 2016, even “after social transfers” were taken into account. The situation has deteriorated significantly since 2005 as a result of the impacts of the GFC and the policy response taken by the European Commission and the Member States (under the EC’s thumb). While the usual suspects perform badly on these indicators (Spain, Greece, Italy), a stark result is that 70.8 per cent of German unemployed persons are at risk of poverty. This proportion has jumped from 40.9 per cent in 2005 (a 29.9 percentage point shift). So, even in the strongest Eurozone economy, the policy frameworks are delivering terrible outcomes. Increasing divergence and inequality and rising social exclusion are the most striking characteristics of the 13 years of European Union history since 2005. It doesn’t look like a policy bloc that any sensible nation should aspire to be part off (or remain within).

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