OECD unemployment rate continues to trend down in May 2016 to 6.3%
The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.3 % in May 2016, 1.8 percentage points below the January 2013 peak. Across the OECD area (now including Latvia), 38.8 million people were unemployed, 10.1 million less than in January 2013, but still 6.2 million more than in April 2008, before the crisis started affecting the labour market.
In May 2016, the euro area unemployment rate also declined by 0.1 percentage point, to 10.1 %, with falls in about half of the countries. The largest decline was observed in Spain (down 0.3 percentage point, to 19.8%). By contrast, the unemployment rate increased in Austria, Belgium and Latvia.
Beyond the euro area, in May 2016, the largest fall in the unemployment rate was observed in the United States, where it decreased by 0.3 percentage point, to 4.7 %, its lowest level since November 2007. The unemployment rate also fell, by 0.2 percentage point (to 6.9 %), in Canada, while it was stable in Japan (at 3.2%), Mexico (at 4.0 %) and in around one third of OECD countries. More recent data show that in June 2016, the unemployment rate continued to decrease (by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.8 %) in Canada, while it increased by 0.2 percentage point (to 4.9 %) in the United States.
Improved labour market conditions also benefitted youth (people aged 15 to 24), whose unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point, to 12.8% in May. The euro area youth unemployment rate, although still above 20 %, declined in May for the eighth consecutive month, with rates falling by 0.2 percentage point or more in several countries: Portugal (to 28.6 %), Spain (to 43.9 %), Greece (to 50.4 % in March, the latest month available), Ireland (to 15.0 %), France (to 23.3 %) and Luxembourg (to 16.7 %). Youth unemployment rates have been declining for at least two months in all these countries.