Labour statistics

Labour Market Situation, OECD - Updated: April 2024


OECD employment rate remains at record high in the fourth quarter of 2023


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17 Apr 2024 - OECD employment and labour force participation rates remained broadly stable at 70.1% and 73.8% in the fourth quarter of 2023, the highest levels recorded since the start of the series in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Both indicators were at or near their record highs in 10 of the 38 OECD countries, including Italy and Japan (Tables 1 and 2). 

In the fourth quarter of 2023, the employment rate exceeded 70% in almost two-thirds of OECD countries, including Canada, Germany, Japan, the United-Kingdom and the United States (Figure 1). The employment rate increased in 11 OECD countries and fell in 10 countries, with the largest declines observed in Colombia, Israel, and Luxembourg. Türkiye remained the OECD country with the lowest employment rate, at 54.2%, which was nevertheless its record high. 

In 2023, the number of women and men in employment in the OECD area increased across all age groups (Figure 2) resulting in record high employment rates of 63.2% and 76.9% respectively. However, the gender gap narrowed as the OECD employment rate increased more rapidly among women (by 1.0 percentage point (p.p.)) than among men (by 0.3 p.p.). Turning to employment by age groups, the largest increase was recorded for older workers (aged 55 to 64), for whom the OECD employment rate reached 64%, showing an increase of 1.1 p.p. since 2022 and 10.5 p.p. since 2007. In 2023, the OECD labour force participation rate among workers aged 15 to 64 also reached its highest level of 66.6% for women and of 80.8% for men (Figure 3).

In February 2024, the unemployment rate remained broadly stable at 4.9% in the OECD area, remaining below or at 5.0% since April 2022. The unemployment rate remained at record lows in the European Union (6.0%) and the euro area (6.5%). It was unchanged in 16 OECD countries with available data, while 6 countries recorded increases and another 10 countries registered drops (Figure 4, Table 3). More recent data for March 2024 shows that the unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.4% in Canada, while it decreased to 3.6% in the United States. Nevertheless, the OECD youth unemployment rate (workers aged 15-24) peaked at 10.9% in February 2024, recording a pronounced increase of 0.5 p.p., with a marked rise in Colombia, Italy, Japan, and the United States.











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