us unemployment may soon be higher than europe

The NYTimes has this article on our unemployment rate. It argues that the conventional wisdom that the flexibility of the American economy means lower unemployment than the rigidness of Europe is being challenged. And it shows a graph (below) that supports the claim that the US unemployment rate may soon go above Europe’s. I find this interesting, with one caveat: I think the US economy is in a later phase of dealing with the global downturn than the Europeans. And that peak unemployment rates will still be higher in Europe overall. This is not an indictment of Europe or a defense of the US (indeed, there are reasons why I might prefer having fewer good jobs and strong social services to lots of bad jobs). But still…


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