5 Ways to Understand Just How Absurd Spain's 26% Unemployment Rate Is

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(1) A 26% unemployment rate in the United States would mean 40 million people unemployed.

(2) In other words, it would be as if the entire population of California were unemployed, or as if everybody under 24 or over 75 years old in the U.S. currently looking for work could not find a job.

(3) The latest read on Spain's long-term unemployment rate is 9 percent -- which is even worse than the U.S. unemployment rate overall, Matt O'Brien reported. That number tells you that one in eleven workers hasn't been able to find a steady job for more than a year.


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(4) "Spain is now home to a third of the euro region's unemployed."

(5) Since 1850, Spanish five-year growth has only been weaker once. It was during the Spanish Civil War.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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