Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD - Updated: February 2017


OECD unemployment rate stable at 6.2% in December 2016


Download the entire news release (graphs and tables included PDF)


09/02/2017 - The OECD unemployment rate was stable, at 6.2%, for the second consecutive month in December 2016. Across the OECD area, 38.5 million people were unemployed, 5.9 million more than in April 2008, before the crisis.

The unemployment rate in the euro area declined in December by 0.1 percentage point, to 9.6%, its lowest level since May 2009, with the largest falls recorded in Portugal (down 0.3 percentage point, to 10.2%), Spain (down 0.3 percentage point, to 18.4%), the Slovak Republic (down 0.2 percentage point, to 8.8%) and the Netherlands (down 0.2 percentage point, to 5.4%). On the other hand, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage point in Latvia (to 9.8%) and by 0.1 percentage point in France (to 9.6%) and Luxembourg (to 6.3%). 

Outside Europe, the unemployment rate increased in December by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 6.9%), Mexico (to 3.8%) and the United States (to 4.7%), while it was stable in Japan (at 3.1%) and fell by 0.2 percentage point in Korea (to 3.4%). For the United States, more recent data for January 2017 point to a further increase of 0.1 percentage point, to 4.8%.

Over the last year, the unemployment rate in the euro area (down 0.9 percentage point) fell at a faster pace than in the OECD as a whole (down 0.3 percentage point). The largest year-on-year declines within the euro area occurred in Spain (down 2.3 percentage points), Portugal (down 2.0 percentage points), the Slovak Republic (down 1.9 percentage point), Ireland (down 1.7 percentage point) and Greece (down 1.5 percentage point between October 2015 and October 2016, the latest month available). By contrast, the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage point over the year in Italy.


Link to underlying data - Source: Labour Force Statistics‌‌





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