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2023 OECD Unemployment Rate Insights: Stability and Youth Challenges

September 2023 compared with the lowest rate recorded since 2001

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GBV summary and Key Findings

Stability in Unemployment Rate:

The OECD unemployment rate remained stable at 4.8% in September 2023, consistently staying below 5.0% since July 2022.

This period saw an increase in the number of unemployed persons in the OECD, reaching 33.3 million, with a notable rise in unemployed men​​.

OECD unemployment rates 2023, youth unemployment, euro area unemployment trends, unemployment rate stability, Canada and US unemployment, Greece unemployment decline, Spain unemployment rate, workforce trends
2023 OECD Unemployment Rate Insights

Category-wise Stability and Youth Unemployment Concerns:

Unemployment rates were broadly stable across all defined categories: men, women, youth (aged 15-24), and workers aged 25 and above.

However, the youth unemployment rate was close to or above 20% in nine OECD countries and saw increases in 16 countries, with significant increases in Korea, Czechia, Luxembourg, and Sweden​​.

Euro Area Trends:

The unemployment rate in the euro area hovered around 6.5% since February 2023. In September, it was stable or slightly increased in all euro area countries, except Greece, where it continued to decline rapidly, reaching its lowest level since August 2009.

Spain had the highest unemployment rate in the euro area during this period​​.

Stability Outside Europe:

Outside Europe, the unemployment rate in OECD countries was largely stable or showed a slight increase. Notably, in Canada and the United States, the unemployment rate rose in October, reaching 5.7% and 3.9%, respectively​​.

Our Interpretation of Unemployment Rate Fall:

The report cautions that the fall in the OECD unemployment rate, when compared with its April 2020 peak, should be interpreted with care.

This is because it largely reflects the return of temporarily laid-off workers in the United States and Canada, who are recorded as unemployed. In contrast, in most other countries, including European member states, these individuals are considered employed​​.

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