Unemployment Rates, OECD – Updated: March 2024

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14 Mar 2024 – The OECD unemployment rate was broadly stable at 4.8% in January 2024, having remained below 5.0% since July 2022 (Figure 1 and Table 1). The rate was unchanged in 23 OECD countries in January, rose in 6 countries, and declined in only 3 countries. The number of unemployed persons in the OECD decreased to 33.5 million in January, mainly driven by a decrease in the number of unemployed younger workers (aged 15-24) (Table 2).

In January 2024, the OECD unemployment rate for women remained broadly stable at 5.0%, 0.3 percentage point higher than the rate for men, which also remained stable. The unemployment rate for women also exceeded that of men in the European Union, the euro area and 21 OECD countries in January 2024 (or in the latest period available) with the largest gender gaps in Greece, Colombia, Türkiye, and Spain. By contrast, the unemployment rate for women was lower than that for men in 16 OECD countries, and the unemployment rate for women and men was the same in Sweden (Figure 3 and Table 3). The OECD unemployment rate was stable for workers aged 25 and above while it declined for younger workers (Table 4).

In the European Union and the euro area, the unemployment rate remained at record lows of 6.0% and 6.4%, respectively. In January 2024, it was stable or increased in most OECD euro area countries. Only Austria recorded a marked decrease (Table 1).

Outside the European OECD countries, unemployment rates in January 2024 were also stable or declined. The largest decrease was recorded in Colombia (Table 1). In February 2024, the unemployment rate was broadly stable at 5.8% in Canada, while it increased in the United States to 3.9%, its highest level since January 2022.

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