Labour statistics

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  • Labour force statistics

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) considers people of working age to be in one (and one only) of three situations in the labour market: employed, unemployed, or inactive. The employed and unemployed together are known as the labour force.

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  • Unemployment rate

    A closely watched indicator is the unemployment rate (the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour force). The unemployment rate tracks what economists call “labour slack” – the match between the jobs on offer in an economy and the number of people seeking to work – and is a key indicator of a society’s economic and social well-being.

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  • Labour market situation

    Labour force data are typically analysed by gender, age group (youth, prime age, older). They are also frequently broken down in many other ways for specific policy purposes: by economic sector, by occupation, by level of education, full- and part-time workers, the short- and long-term unemployed.

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What's new

OECD unemployment rate back to pre-crisis level in October 2017

OECD Harmonised Unemployment Rates,  s.a.


12/12/2017 - The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point in October 2017, to 5.6%, returning to    its April 2008 pre-crisis rate. However, at 35.1 million, the total number of unemployed remains 2.5 million above April 2008 levels.

Behind the numbers 


Further statistics on the labour market

Related labour topics