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Unemployment - International Comparisons: Key Economic Indicators

Published Friday, June 14, 2019

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 2018 was 3.9%. This was slightly above the rate of the US (3.8%), below that of France (8.9%) but above that of Germany (3.3%). The UK rate was the 12th lowest of the 36 OECD member countries.

The unemployment rate for the Eurozone fell to 7.8% in Q1 2019 from 7.9% in Q4 2018, and remained at the same level in the G7 at 4.4%. The Q1 figure for the UK has not yet been published.

Most 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 2018 (18.6%) followed by Spain at 14.5%.

The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD for Q4 2018 at 2.1%.

Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q4 2018 youth unemployment was 39.7% in Greece, 33.5% in Spain and 32.6% in Italy. UK youth unemployment stood at 11.1%.

Commons Briefing papers SN02800

Author: Andy Powell

Topics: Economic situation, International economic relations, Unemployment

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