15 March, 2023 23:50

15 March 2023

The unemployment rate across the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) remained at 4.9% in January 2023, the seventh consecutive month at this record low since the start of the series in 2001.

The number of unemployed persons declined to 33.2 million, remaining close to the record low reached in July 2022.

The unemployment rate was stable in 12 of 38 OECD countries, but close to its record low in seven countries, including Canada, France, Germany, and the US.

January data also found that the OECD unemployment rate for women fell slightly from 5.2% to 5.1%, now 0.5% higher than the rate for men, which remained broadly stable.

Relative to men, the unemployment rate for women was higher in 18 OECD countries, with the largest gender gaps recorded in Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Spain and Turkey. By contrast, the unemployment rate for women was lower in 16 OECD countries. No gender gap was observed in January 2023 in Austria, Hungary, Mexico, and Norway.

The OECD unemployment rate was broadly stable for younger workers and workers aged 25 and above.

In the European Union and the euro area, the unemployment rate remained stable, close to their records low, at 6.1% and 6.7%, respectively. The unemployment rate was stable or decreased in half of the euro area countries. The largest decline was observed in Greece, where the unemployment rate reached its lowest level since December 2009. However, Lithuania and Portugal recorded marked increases.

Outside Europe, the unemployment rate fell in Japan (2.5% to 2.4%), South Korea (3.1% to 2.9%) and Turkey (10.2% to 9.7%). It also fell by 0.1% to a rate of 3.4% in the US.

The unemployment rate increased in Australia (from 3.5% to 3.7%) in January 2023.

More recent data show that in February 2023 the unemployment rate edged up to 3.6% in the US while it remained unchanged for the third consecutive month at 5.0% in Canada.