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 Unit Labour Costs rise by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014

Annual ULC growth picking up in most OECD countries
Year-on-year percentage change 


19/03/2015 - Unit labour costs (ULCs) in the OECD area rose by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with 0.3% in the previous quarter, driven by a pick-up in compensation costs and slowing productivity growth. This OECD total however masks diverging patterns across economies, with ULC growth slowing in nearly half of the OECD countries.

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