The rate has been holding steady at 7.0% since last October, and remains the peak figure of unemployment since 2000; it had previously dipped to 6.3% in January 2000.
In the European Union, the rate was 8.7% in February 2003, 0.1% higher than the previous month, and 0.6% higher than a year earlier.
The standardised unemployment rate in the US was 5.8% in February 2003, 0.1% higher than the previous month and 0.2 percentage point higher than a year earlier.
In contrast, Japan’s standardised unemployment rate fell slightly; it was 5.2% in February 2003, which was 0.3% lower than the previous month and just 0.1% lower than a year earlier. Over the twelve months to February 2003, the unemployment rate rose in France from 8.6% to 9.1% and in Germany from 8.0% to 8.7%.
Conversely, the rate of unemployment in Canada fell from 7.8% to 7.4%. In January 2003, the jobless unemployment rate in Italy was 9.0%, the same rate as a year earlier (see Databank). And in the UK, over the twelve months to December 2002, the unemployment rate dropped from 5.1% to 4.9%.
©OECD Observer No 237, May 2003