Unemployment Rates, OECD - Updated: May 2023


OECD unemployment rate stable at record low of 4.8% in March 2023


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12 May 2023 - The OECD unemployment rate remained at 4.8% in March 2023, marking its third month at this record low since 2001 (Figure 1 and Table 1). The monthly unemployment rate was unchanged in March 2023 in 15 OECD countries, declined in 14 and rose in 5. The rate was at or close to its record low in only eight countries, including Canada, France, Germany, and the United States (Figure 2 and Table 1). The number of unemployed persons declined slightly to 33.1 million, remaining close to its lowest point from July 2022.

In March 2023, the OECD youth unemployment rate (workers aged 15-24) eased to 10.5%, recording its lowest value since 2005, already reached in July 2022. The largest declines in the unemployment rate for younger workers were observed in Austria, Denmark, Greece, Latvia, and Sweden. The unemployment rate for both women and men was broadly stable, at 5.0% and 4.6% respectively, as was the rate for workers aged 25 and above (Figure 1, Tables 3 and 4).

In the euro area, the unemployment rate decreased slightly, reaching a new record low of 6.5% in March 2023. The unemployment rate was stable or decreased in all euro area countries apart from Belgium and Estonia, with the largest declines observed in Austria and Greece. However, unemployment rates remain well above their lowest levels in Greece, Luxembourg, and Spain.

Outside Europe, Colombia and the United States recorded a drop in the unemployment rate, while other non-European OECD countries experienced broadly stable conditions.By contrast, Japan and Korea saw rising unemployment rates, although from a relatively low base (Figure 2 and Table 1). More recent data show that the unemployment rate in Canada held steady at 5.0% in April 2023, unchanged since December 2022, and edged down to a record low of 3.4% in the United States. 


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