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Unemployment Data January 2023 OECD

Labour Market Situation, OECD - January 2023

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in January 2023 released its latest figures on (un-)employment. According to the organization, employment and labour force participation rates stable at record highs in the third quarter of 2022.

The unemployment rate remained at 4.9% in November 2022, the fifth consecutive month at this record low since the start of the series in 2001. However, the aggregate masks wide differences across countries with the unemployment rate at its record low only in Australia and France.

In the European Union and the euro area, the unemployment rate in November 2022 remained at record lows of 6.0% and 6.5%, respectively. Outside Europe, more recent data show that in December 2022, the unemployment rate continued to decrease in Canada to 5.0% (only 0.1 percentage point higher than its lowest level) and edged down to its record low of 3.5% in the United States.

The OECD unemployment rate decreased slightly to 5.1% for women, while it was stable at 4.7% for men. It also decreased slightly for young workers (aged 15-24) and was stable for workers aged 25 and above.

The employment and labour force participation rates were stable at 69.4% and 73.2% in the third quarter of 2022, their highest levels since the start of the series in 2005 and 2008 respectively. About 40% of OECD countries were at record highs for both indicators. The number of persons employed, as employees or self-employed workers, also reached its highest level at 607.9 million workers.

The rate in the third quarter of 2022 edged up to 62.4% for women, while it decreased to 76.6% for men for the first time in over two years. The OECD labour force participation rate reached its highest level of 65.9% for women and remained stable for men at its pre-pandemic level of 80.6%.

Although favorable to consumption and savings, low unemployment rates are one of the factors that contribute to inflation. According to the ILO, full employment is achieved when the unemployment rate is below 5%. While Europe does not seem to be under pressure – at least not everywhere-, the United States is likely to experience inflationary trends linked to the labor market situation.

Download the news release with graphs and tables can be downloaded here (PDF)

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