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Bert - Thank you for the noteworthy points about how a drop in public sector employment, rather than a rise, during a economic downturn is a new trend for the EU. This is an insight I had not realized, and certainly a nice cushion for unemployment. But we must also note that the practice of public sector hiring during a downturn - stretching the public sector's budget even more - may have fed into the over-inflated public sectors of the EU and ultimately the sovereign debt crisis. After all, once hired, it is difficult to lay-off, right? Thank you for your feedback!
Yolanda, thank you for your interesting question. You're right that hiring is a burden on government budget. Usually hiring slows down after the recession to limit increasing expenditure. In this case, many European countries are struggling with both a recession and budget cuts at the same time, which takes its toll on the European workers. This therefore results in less of a cushion on unemployment that is already at a record-high for the Euro Area.