Long-term unemployment increasingly plagues Europe and America

MORE than a third of unemployed people in rich countries have been out of work for over a year. Since the financial crisis began the number of long-term unemployed people has doubled to almost 17m, according to data from the OECD, a think-tank. In Spain a staggering 3m people have been out of work for more than 12 months, about the same number as in America, whose labour force is considerably larger. The problem can be self-sustaining. Skills deteriorate when they are not used; the jobless become discouraged and employers are less inclined to hire them. Yet a few European countries have seen a decline in long-term joblessness. In Germany, an economic recovery and labour-market reforms means that there are almost 1m fewer people out of work now than at the end of 2007. And Switzerland, where the jobless rate barely edged above 4%, found work for those lingering on the dole. For most OECD countries, however, the high and growing proportion of long-term unemployed is a threat to their economic growth.

Font, imatge : http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/10/daily-chart-16