Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD - Updated: July 2013


OECD unemployment rate at 8.0% in May 2013


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09/07/2013 - The OECD unemployment rate was at 8.0% in May 2013, unchanged for the third consecutive month.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate hit a new record high since the early 90’s - up 0.1 percentage point to 12.2% in May. The gap with the OECD average has considerably widened since the beginning of the global financial crisis, reaching more than 4.0 percentage points in May, as compared to 1.7 percentage points in July 2008.

 In May, the unemployment rate increased in the United States (by 0.1 percentage point to 7.6%) while it decreased in Canada (by 0.1 percentage point to 7.1%) and Mexico (by 0.1 percentage point to 5.1%) and was stable in Japan (at 4.1%). More recent data referring to the month of June show that the unemployment rate was stable in both the United States and Canada.  

Trends in unemployment rates since the beginning of the global financial crisis have differed across population groups. In May, the OECD unemployment rate for men (unchanged at 8.0%) was 0.9 percentage point below the peak of 8.9% reached in October 2009. By contrast, the OECD unemployment rate for women (down by 0.1 percentage point at 8.0%) was only 0.2 percentage point below its highest level of 8.2% reached in December 2012, having hovered around 8.0% since July 2009. In May 2013, the unemployment rates for men and women were, respectively, 2.1 and 2.0 percentage points above their pre-crisis level in July 2008.

The OECD unemployment rate for youth (down by 0.1 percentage point at 16.3%) was 1.0 percentage point below the peak reached in October 2009, but remained 3.3 percentage points above its pre-crisis level. In May 2013, more than one active youth in three was unemployed in Italy, Portugal and Slovak Republic, and more than one in two in Greece and Spain.

Overall, there were 48.5 million people unemployed in the OECD area in May 2013, 0.1 million more than in April and 13.8 million more than in July 2008.


OECD Harmonised Unemployment Rates, s.a.


Link to underlying data - Source: Labour Force Statistics




Next publication date: 10 September 2013see all release dates



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