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Unemployment - International Comparisons: Key Economic Indicators

Published Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Unemployment: International Comparisons: Data on harmonised unemployment rates for major international economies.

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The OECD produces harmonised unemployment rates for OECD members based on the ILO definition of unemployment.


The UK harmonised unemployment rate for Q1 2017 was 4.5%. This was slightly less than the rate of the US (4.7%), below that of France (9.6%) but above that of Germany (3.9%). In the G7, the unemployment rate was 5.2%. The UK rate was the 10th lowest of the 35 OECD member countries.

The G7 unemployment rate fell to 5.0% in Q2 2017. Only 6 of the 31 OECD countries that have published unemployment rates for Q2 2017 had a higher rate for that quarter than for Q1 2017. The Q2 figure for the UK has not been published to date.

Greece had the highest harmonised unemployment rate out of the OECD member states for Q1 2017 (22.6%) followed by Spain at 18.2%. Iceland had the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD for Q1 2017 at 2.7% followed by Japan at 2.9%.

Commons Briefing papers SN02800

Author: Andy Powell

Topics: Economic situation, International economic relations, Unemployment

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