Unemployment holds steady

The OECD-area unemployment rate on a standardised basis was 6.6% in December, the same as the November figure and 0.3 percentage points lower than a year earlier.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in Canada, to 10.4% in France, to 9% in Germany, to 5.8% in Ireland and to 15.0% in Spain. The unemployment rate was stable at 4.1% in the United States, at 4.2% in Austria, at 8.7% in Belgium, at 4.1% in Denmark, at 9.9% in Finland and at 6.6% in Sweden. The unemployment rate increased to 4.7% in Japan, to 7% in Australia and to 4.4% in Portugal.

Note on data: The standardised unemployment rates for the European Union (EU) member countries are from the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat). The OECD is responsible for the calculation of the standardised unemployment rates for the non-EU countries. The latter have been adjusted when necessary, and as far as the available data allow, to bring them as close as possible to ILO (and Eurostat) guidelines for international comparisons of labour force statistics. The standardised rates are, therefore, more comparable between countries than the unemployment rates published in national sources. For further details, see the Technical Note to the table.

The data are based on a sample of 24 OECD countries for which data are available or have been estimated. Note that from May 1999 standardised unemployment rates for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have been included. 

©OECD Observer February 2000 




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