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More news from the supercompetitive European Union:

German unemployment jumped to the highest since World War II as new rules added welfare recipients to the jobless register, clouding the outlook for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in elections this month.

The number of people out of work in January rose by 227,000 to 4.71 million in seasonally adjusted terms, including 230,000 new jobless claimants, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. The adjusted unemployment rate rose to 11.4 percent, a seven-year high, while the unadjusted jobless total passed 5 million for the first time since the war.

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Meanwhile, wishful thinking persists as yet another paper is issued claiming how great everything is going to be any day now.

UPDATE: More, including some good comments, at Winds of Change.

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