Peripheral Europe’s New Normal: 50 Applicants For One Minimum Wage Job

Spanish Unemployed

(Photo: APA/JuanJo Martin/EPA)

Source: Zero Hedge

While it is arguable whether two instances of the same event are sufficient to indicate a pattern, when it comes to Europe under the New (feudal) Normal we are willing to make a generalizing extrapolation. Recall a week ago when we reported that hours after unleashing a campaign to hire 400 employees for its brand new megastore in the Mediterranean city Valencia, Ikea’s servers in Spain promptly crashed after the company got at least 20,000 applicants (and possibly many more that would have registered had the system not experienced its Obamacare moment).

The punchline here, of course, is not the dilapidated server infrastructure of Ikea – in a world in which nobody spends any growth CapEx any more that is to be expected – but that there were 20,000 applicants for what were effectively 400 minimum wage jobs, or, said otherwise: 50 candidates for each job. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the mythical recovery that Spain’s premier Rajoy fabulates in people’s minds on a daily basis. Needless to say, the 2% “success rate” of applicants means it is three times harder to get a minimum wage job in this European country than to get into Harvard. Today, we find the same 2% number in action once again, as if by magic, only this time relating to minimum wage job applicants in that other European basket case – Greece.

From Keep Talking Greece

 More than 18,000 candidates for 390 job vacancies at €580 gross

More than 18,000 candidates sent their CVs to OTE after Greece’s biggest Telecommunication Company  announced 390 job vacancies for salespersons. What if the salary is the minimum wage of  just 580 euro gross per month. i.e. some 480 euro net. With more than 1,3 million people without job, unemployment rate at 27.4% and businesses closing down one after the other, people have not much chances and options.

At the same time, Greek media report that OTE is estimated to send to “voluntary retirement” more than 2,000 employees, personnel from the “old guard” that was hired on permanent status.

390/18,000 = 2.2%, or rounded down, the same success rate as in Spain.

Which brings us to what is emerging as Europe’s magic number, namely, 1 in 50, or what an unemployed person’s chances are of getting a minimum wage job. Aka, welcome to the reekovery.

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