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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 area employment rate rose by 1.0 percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2020, but remains below pre-pandemic level 

15 April 2021 – The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose by 1.0 percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2020, to 66.7%, remaining 1.9 percentage points below the rate observed in the first quarter of 2020. In the same period, the OECD labour force participation rate (i.e. the share of people of working-age who are either employed or unemployed) increased by 0.4 percentage point, to 71.7%, still 0.9 percentage point below its level in the first quarter of 2020.

  

 

Behind the numbers 

 

Further statistics on the labour market

Related labour topics