A number is never just a number: Austerity's discontents

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75 million

Number of youth, aged 15-24, who will be unemployed globally this year. That's 6% more than in 2007. The global youth unemployment rate is 12.7%. (Source)


The 2011 youth unemployment rate in Spain, up from 18.2% in 2007. (Source)


Canada's youth unemployment rate in April; nearly twice as high as the 7.3% rate for the overall labour market. (Source)


Percentage of Canadian youth, ages 15-24, who fell into Statistics Canada's broader category of unemployed, including discouraged, waiting or involuntarily part-time workers in April. (Source -- click add/remove, click ages 15-24, see category R8)


Number of unemployed Canadian workers for every reported job vacancy. (Source)


Percentage of unemployed Canadians who are actually eligible for Employment Insurance. (Source)


Pay cut the federal government expects Canadians to accept if they've been on Employment Insurance for 7-18 weeks (7 for "frequent" claimants, 18 for "occasional") and are offered a lower paying job than the one they had before. (Source)


Estimated number of full-time federal public sector job cuts by 2015, following three rounds of cutting. (Source)


Number of total jobs the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates will be lost in Canada by 2014-15 as a result of federal and provincial government cutbacks. (Source)


Number of Ontario public (65,000) and private (40,000) sector jobs the Centre for Spatial Economics estimates will be lost in 2015 due to provincial government cutbacks. (Source)


Number of days Quebec students took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to protest austerity budget proposals that include raising tuition by 75% over several years. It has culminated in a controversial emergency law limiting public protest and a youth movement dubbed Printemps érable. (Source, source and source)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out at the beginning of each month.

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