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《经济学人》:找呀找呀找工作

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Unemployment in the West
西方国家的失业情况

The quest for jobs
追逐工作

It is not impossible for politicians to reduce the West’s frighteningly high unemployment levels
对于政客们来说,降低西方国家令人为之恐惧的高失业率并不是不可能的

A LITTLE geographical imagination helps to convey the scale of joblessness in the West. If the 44m people who are unemployed in the mainly rich members of the OECD lived in one country, its population would be similar to Spain’s. In Spain itself, which has the West’s highest jobless rate (21%), the number of people without work matches the combined population of Madrid and Barcelona. In America the 14m people officially jobless would form the fifth-most-populous state in the union. Add in the 11m “underemployed”, who are working less than they would like, and it is the size of Texas.

一张小的地理图片便能有助于映射出西方国家的失业情况。在经济合作组织中,如果一些主要的发达成员国有4400万失业人口居住在一个国家,这就相当于西班牙的总人口数。而就西班牙本身而言却有着西方国家最高的失业率,达到21%。这些没有工作的人口加起来相当于皇家马德里和巴塞罗那两城市人口的总和。在美国,官方统计的失业人口为1400万,足以组成该国的第五大州。另外还有1100万未充分就业的人口,这相当于田纳西州的人口规模。

The landscape is not uniformly bleak. Germany, for example, now has a lower jobless rate than before the financial crisis. But in most of the rich world the proportion of people unemployed, though down a bit from its peak in 2009, is still alarmingly high, even as fears mount that several countries may be slipping back into recession. And the human cost of the economic crisis is paid largely by those who are out of work, for joblessness increases depression, divorce, substance abuse and pretty much everything that can go wrong in a life.

情况并不都是惨不忍睹的。例如,德国较金融危机之前相比,如今失业率却相对较低。但是在大多数富裕国家,失业人口的比重较2009年顶峰时相比,尽管有所降低,但仍然居高不下,令人担忧,甚至一些国家随着恐惧的加深,会再次滑落到经济衰退时期。经济危机中人类所付出的代价主要有失业者们“买账”,他们的抑郁症状增加,离婚率上升,滥用物质,很多东西会使他们的一生误入歧途。

Worse, today’s joblessness is a particularly dangerous sort. A disproportionate share of those out of work are young, and youth unemployment leaves more scars, in terms of lower future wages and greater likelihood of future unemployment (see article (http://www.economist.com/node/21528614) ). Joblessness is also becoming more chronic. In America, famous for its flexible labour market, the average jobless spell now lasts 40 weeks, up from 17 in 2007. In Italy half of those without work have been so for more than a year. Long-term unemployment is harder to cure, as people’s skills atrophy and they become detached from the workforce. Its shadow lingers, reducing future growth rates, damaging public finances and straining social order for years to come.

更为糟糕的是,当今的失业是一个特别危险的因素。由于失业造成的分配不公“摊”在年轻人身上,考虑到未来的低工资和可能性较高的失业,年轻时期的失业情形留下了更深的伤疤。失业也正在变得极重难返。以灵活市场就业出名的美国如今平均失业时间会持续40个周,与2007年的17个周相比有所上升。在意大利,一半的失业者遭遇这种情形不止一年。由于人们的技术会不断“萎缩”,而他们又变得与世(劳动者)隔绝,所以长期的失业很难“治愈”。阴影—未来的经济增长率有所下降、公共财政遭到损坏及未来的社会秩序变的歪曲—挥之不去。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
likelihood ['laiklihud]

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n. 可能性

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stimulate ['stimjuleit]

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vt. 刺激,激励,鼓舞
vi. 起刺激作用

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current ['kʌrənt]

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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的

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plain [plein]

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n. 平原,草原
adj. 清楚的,坦白的,简

 
evidence ['evidəns]

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n. 根据,证据
v. 证实,证明

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extend [iks'tend]

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v. 扩充,延伸,伸展,扩展

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minimal ['minəməl]

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adj. 最低限度的,最小的

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depression [di'preʃən]

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n. 沮丧,萧条

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fiscal ['fiskəl]

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adj. 财政的,国库的

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scale [skeil]

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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决

 


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