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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 employment and labour force participation rates stable at record highs in the third quarter of 2022

19 Jan 2023 – The OECD employment and labour force participation rates were stable at 69.4% and 73.2% in the third quarter of 2022, their highest levels since the start of the series in 2005 and 2008 respectively. About 40% of OECD countries were at record highs for both indicators. The number of persons employed, as employees or self-employed workers, also reached its highest level at 607.9 million workers.


 

Behind the numbers 

 

Further statistics on the labour market

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