To those who think the worst of the recession is over, the head of the IMF has this to say: "We are not safe." An astounding 30 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the financial crisis, three-quarters of those in richer economies, a new report shows. This "wasteland of unemployment," now at 210 million worldwide, puts both the United States and Europe at serious risk of a social revolt, says the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
"The Great Recession has left gaping wounds. High and long-lasting unemployment represents a risk to the stability of existing democracies," he says; Spain, for example, has seen unemployment soar to 20%. And fiscal austerity is not the solution before 2011, says the IMF's chief economist: "If fiscal stimulus helps avoid structural unemployment, it may actually pay for itself." The study says that victims of recession in their early 20s often suffer lifetime damage and are particularly prone to losing faith in public institutions, notes the Telegraph.