The OECD area employment rate – defined as the share of people of working-age who are employed – was 65.1% in the first quarter of 2013, unchanged from the previous quarter, and 0.2 percentage point higher than one year ago. This was still 1.4 percentage points below the level recorded in the second quarter of 2008, the quarter preceding the start of the global financial crisis.
Unit labour costs (ULCs) in OECD countries decreased by 0.1% in the first quarter of 2013, compared with a rise of 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was driven by lower growth of labour compensation per unit of labour input (0.3% compared with 0.9% in the previous quarter), and increased labour productivity growth (0.4% compared with minus 0.2%).
The OECD unemployment rate decreased to 8.0% in March 2013, compared with 8.1% in the previous month. However, this small decline masks diverging patterns across countries.
The OECD unemployment rate decreased to 8.0% in February 2013, compared with 8.1% in the previous month. The unemployment rate in the euro area was stable (at 12.0%) in February, but still 1.1 percentage point higher than its mid-90’s peak.