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Unemployment - International Comparisons: Key Economic Indicators

Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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 Q4 2017 was 4.2%. This was slightly below the rate of the US (4.1%), below that of France (9.1%) but above that of Germany (3.6%). The UK rate was the 11th lowest of the 35 OECD member countries.

The UK figure for Q1 2018 has not yet been published.

The unemployment rate for the Eurozone fell to 8.5% in Q1 2018 from 8.7% in Q4 2017, and fell for the G7 from 4.8% to 4.7%. Almost all of the OECD countries have seen a fall in the unemployment rate over the last year.

Greece had the highest unemployment rate out of the OECD member states for Q4 2017 (21.0%) followed by Spain at 16.6%. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD for Q4 2017 at 2.4%.

Youth unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q4 2017, youth unemployment was 43.1% in Greece, 37.0% in Spain and 33.5% in Italy. UK youth unemployment was 12.0%.

Commons Briefing papers SN02800

Author: Andy Powell

Topics: Economic situation, International economic relations, Unemployment

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