12/02/2018 - The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point in December 2017, to 5.5%. This is 0.1 percentage point lower than the level just before the financial crisis (April 2008), reflecting an increase in the active population, with the total number of unemployed people, at 34.8 million, still remaining 2.2 million above its pre-crisis level.
In the euro area, the unemployment rate was stable at 8.7% in December, but declined by 0.3 percentage point in Portugal (to 7.8%) and by 0.2 percentage point in Ireland (to 6.2%), Slovenia (to 6.2%) and Spain (to 16.4%).
Outside the euro area, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in Israel (to 4.0%) and by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 5.8%), Korea (to 3.6%) and Mexico (to 3.4%). It was stable in the United States (at 4.1%) and rose by 0.1 percentage point in Australia (to 5.5%)and Japan (to 2.8%). More recent data show that in January, the unemployment rate remained stable in the United States, while it increased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 5.9%).
Between December 2016 and December 2017, the OECD unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage point, with significant falls (exceeding 2.0 percentage points) in some euro area countries such as Greece (between October 2016 and October 2017, the latest month available), Portugal and Spain.
The OECD unemployment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24) also fell in December, by 0.2 percentage point to 11.6%, 1.0 percentage point below its December 2016 level.
Link to underlying data - Source: Labour Force Statistics