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Unemployment - International Comparisons: Key Economic Indicators

Published Tuesday, August 13, 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 Q1 2019 was 3.7%. This was slightly below the rate of the US (3.9%), below that of France (8.7%) but above that of Germany (3.2%). The UK rate was the 10th lowest of the 36 OECD member countries.

The unemployment rate for the Eurozone fell to 7.6% from 7.8% in Q2 2019, and fell in the G7 from 4.4% to 4.3% The Q2 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 Q1 2019 (18.4%) followed by Spain at 14.2%.

The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD at 2.0%.

Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q1 2019 youth unemployment was 39.6% in Greece, 34.1% in Spain and 31.3% in Italy. UK youth unemployment stood at 10.5%.

Commons Briefing papers SN02800

Author: Andy Powell

Topics: Economic situation, International economic relations, Unemployment

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