OECD unemployment rate stable at 8.0% in December 2012
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12/02/2013 - The OECD unemployment rate was stable at 8.0% in December 2012, unchanged from the previous month.
For the first time since May 2011, the unemployment rate in the euro area has been stable for two consecutive months (at 11.7%), after 17 months of uninterrupted increase.
In December, the unemployment rate was also stable in the United States (at 7.8%) while it fell in Canada (by 0.1 percentage point to 7.1%) and rose in Japan (by 0.1 percentage point to 4.2%). More recent data referring to the month of January 2013 show that the unemployment rate rose in the United States (by 0.1 percentage point to 7.9%) while it continued to fall in Canada (by 0.1 percentage point to 7.0%)
Trends in unemployment rates across OECD countries have diverged significantly since the beginning of the economic and financial crisis. In January, unemployment rates were significantly below the peaks they reached in the aftermath of the crisis in Canada and the United States (1.7 and 2.1 percentage points lower, respectively). In December, the unemployment rate in Japan was close to its pre-crisis level while it was significantly below that level in Germany (2.1 percentage points lower). By contrast, the unemployment rate reached a new peak in December in several countries, including France (at 10.6%), Greece (at 26.8% in October, the latest month available), Italy (at 11.2%) and Portugal (at 16.5%).
Overall, there were 48.2 million people unemployed in the OECD area in December 2012, 13.5 million more than in July 2008.