Labour statistics

Unemployment Rates, OECD - Updated: December 2023


OECD unemployment rate broadly stable at 4.9% in October 2023


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13 Dec 2023 - The OECD unemployment rate was broadly stable at 4.9% in October 2023, having remained below 5.0% since July 2022 (Figure 1 and Table 1). The unemployment rate rose in 14 OECD countries in October, was unchanged in 9, and declined in 10 (Figure 2 and Table 1). The number of unemployed persons in the OECD increased to 33.4 million in October, its highest level in 2023.

In October, the OECD youth unemployment rate (workers aged 15-24) increased to 10.9%, 0.8 percentage point (p.p.) above its April low. It stood 6.8 p.p. above the unemployment rate for workers aged 25 and above, which remained stable. The youth unemployment rate increased in 17 OECD countries with increases of more than one p.p. recorded in Australia, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, and Italy. Youth unemployment rates close to or above 20% were recorded in 9 OECD countries in October (Figure 3 and Table 4). The unemployment rates for women and men remained stable (Table 3).

In the euro area, the unemployment rate has been stable at 6.5% since February 2023. In October, it was stable or increased slightly in 12 of the 17 OECD euro area countries. By contrast, pronounced decreases were recorded in Austria, Lithuania, and Greece, bringing the Greek unemployment rate below 10% for the first time since August 2009. Spain’s double-digit unemployment rate remained the highest in the euro area in October.

Outside Europe, unemployment rates were stable or rose slightly in Australia, Canada, and the United States. A pronounced increase was recorded in Colombia (Figure 2 and Table 1). More recent data show that in November the unemployment rate rose further to 5.8% in Canada and decreased in the United States to 3.7% from 3.9% in October. 


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