The jobless rate in the euro area was unchanged from the previous month at 8.9% in July, but was 0.5 percentage points higher than a year earlier. In the United States, the jobless rate fell to 6.2% in July from 6.4% in June, but was 0.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier. In Japan the unemployment level was unchanged from June at 5.3% and fell 0.1 percentage points from a year earlier.
Over the 12 months to July, the standardised unemployment rate in France rose to 9.4% from 8.9%, while in Germany it rose to 9.4% from 8.6% and in Canada it rose to 7.8% from 7.6%. The UK unemployment rate fell over the 12-month period to 4.9%, from 5.1% a year earlier.
Unemployment figures are considered as a lagging indicator, and so they bear out the OECD’s forecast from last April of a cautious recovery in the OECD area, but with difficulties in the euro area economy (see Economy section, page 9).
©OECD Observer No 239, September 2003