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Workplace Issues Today: European employment model looks better in recession

As global stats for the month of April are calculated, it appears that the US unemployment rate may top that of Western Europe for the first time since 1993. The US economic model has long been considered more conducive to low unemployment rates than Europe’s, because of its flexibility and ease of hiring/firing. However, officials at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington say that the recession has reversed what was known about the two models. European employment rates have for the most part remained the same throughout the global recession, some have even dropped. It seems that the safety nets and federal programs in place in many of the Western European countries have allowed people to better hold on to jobs. It is believed also that the boom-and-bust cycles of the housing crisis have hindered the US job market, a fate which Europe largely avoided.

See U.S. Jobless Rate May Soon Top Europe’s,” by Floyd Norris, The New York Times, May 22 2009 (JKW)

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