12/02/2019 - The OECD unemployment rate was stable in December 2018, for the third consecutive month. At 5.2%, this level is three percentage points below the January 2013 peak. Across the OECD, 33.4 million people were unemployed.
The unemployment rate was also stable in the euro area in December, at 7.9%, with the largest decrease observed in Italy (down 0.2 percentage point, to 10.3%).
In Japan, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point, to 2.4%, while it was stable in Canada (at 5.6%) and Korea (at 3.8%). The unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point in Israel (to 4.3%) and the United States (to 3.9%) and by 0.3 percentage point in Mexico (to 3.6%). More recent data show that in January 2019 the unemployment rate increased further in the United States, by 0.1 percentage point, to 4.0%, while it also increased in Canada (by 0.2 percentage point, to 5.8%).
Between December 2017 and December 2018, the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point across the OECD, and by 0.7 percentage point in the euro area. The largest year-on-year falls (1.0 percentage point or more) among OECD countries were recorded in Greece (between November 2017 and November 2018, the latest month available), Spain, Finland, the Slovak Republic, Portugal and Latvia. On the other hand, the unemployment rate increased year-on-year by 1.3 percentage points in Turkey (between October 2017 and October 2018) and less significantly in Chile (between November 2017 and November 2018), Israel, Mexico and Korea.
The OECD unemployment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24), at 11.2% in December, showed an increase of 0.2 percentage point relative to the previous month and a decrease of 0.2 percentage point compared to one year before.
Link to underlying data - Source: Labour Force Statistics