OECD unemployment rate stable at 5.3 % in August 2018

The OECD unemployment rate remained stable at 5.3% in August 2018. Across the OECD, 33.5 million people were unemployed, around one million more than in April 2008.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point, to 8.1 % in August, with the rate dropping 0.5 percentage point in Italy (to 9.7 %, following the 0.4 percentage point fall in July).

The unemployment rate also fell in Japan (by 0.1 percentage point to 2.4 %), and was stable in Mexico (at 3.3 %) and the United States (at 3.9%). Rates rose, however, in Canada (by 0.2 percentage point, to 6.0 %) and Korea (by 0.4 percentage point, to 4.2 %).

More recent data for September show that the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in the United States, to 3.7 %, the lowest level since December 1969, and by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 5.9 %).

The OECD unemployment rate was stable across different age groups in August 2018, meaning that the youth (people aged 15 to 24) unemployment rate, at 11.0%, remained more than twice as large as that for people aged 25 and above (at 4.6 %). For the OECD as whole unemployed youth (7.9 million) made up one-quarter of total unemployment. The OECD unemployment rates for women (at 5.5 %) and men (5.1 %) were also stable in August.