Thursday, July 9, 2015

Spain & Norway, Disparity in Unemployment Rates

Spain & Norway, Disparity in Unemployment Rates
By Donna Welles. 9,7. 2015.


Ancient seafaring nations, Norway and Spain occupy opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of modern Unemployment Rates. In 2014, Norway's unemployment rate was 3.5% whereas that of Spain was 26.1%. Norway is endowed with natural resources including fossil fuels and fishing reserves. Spain still trades with South America and currently holds a seat on the UN Security Council. Allow us to examine these two economies using the following indicators, (1) Population, (2) GDP, (3) Military Personnel, (4) Fertility Rates, (5) Bilateral Trade, and (6) External Trade by Product. Are we able to understand the disparity in 2014 Unemployment Rates?
Spain's population is nine times that of Norway, 46million and 5million. Spain's GDP is less than three times that of Norway. In 2000, the relative GDPs were $595billion and $171billion. In 2010, the relative GDPs were $1.43trillion and $429billion. Spain's economy has since contracted to $1.40trillion while Norway's has expanded to $500billion. What has happened since 2010 so that Spain's economy has contracted while Norway's has expanded?
Spain has a sizable pool in terms of Armed Forces Personnel, according to the World Bank's World Development Indicators Databank. Figures for both nations have declined since 2000, dropping from 241,800 and 27,000 in 2000, 220,000 and 47,000 in 2005, 223,216 and 24,450 in 2010, to 213,950 and 25,800 in 2013. Fertility rates in both nations are low. Spain's in 2013 was 1.3births for every woman and Norway's was 1.9. Norway's was exactly 1.9 in 2000 as well, whereas Spain's has risen slightly from 1.2.
In terms of external trade and in particular exports, Norway exports predominantly to the United Kingdom whereas Spain exports predominantly to France. In 2014, 23% of Norway's exports were purchased by the United Kingdom and 6% were purchased by France. The same year, 16% of Spain's exports were purchased by France and 7% were purchased by the United Kingdom. Norway exported to the United States more than they did to China; to China more than they did Spain; and to Spain more than they did to Russia. Spain exported to the United States more than they did to China; and to China more than they did to Russia.
Finally, 64% of Norway's exports as listed by the World Bank are categorized as Mineral Fuel while 9.5% are categorized as Machinery/Transportation Equipment. Other leading exports for Norway include Food/Live Animals as well as Manufactured Goods. Spain's exports are more evenly distributed, 32% are categorized as Machinery/Transportation Equipment, 16% as Manufactured Goods, 13% as Chemicals, and 12% as Food/Live Animals.
Spain's is not the only European economy to have contracted since 2007 but its Unemployment Rates are by far the worst among its cohort. 

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