Unemployment Rate in OECD Countries Falls in February

OECD unemployment rate records fourth consecutive fall at 8.2% in February

The OECD area unemployment rate fell again in February 2011 to 8.2%, down 0.1 percentage point from January. This was the fourth consecutive decrease, following a period of stability of around 8.5% throughout most of 2010. New March 2011 data show further declines of 0.1 percentage point in the unemployment rates of  both the United States (to 8.8%) and Canada (7.7%).

The February data show, for the first time since the recent financial crisis, a pattern of declining or steady unemployment rates for the majority of OECD countries. The unemployment rate fell in the Euro area to 9.9%, the first time back into single digits since December 2009. Austria, Korea, Mexico and Spain were the only countries recording rises in their unemployment rates. Countries still experiencing very high unemployment rates include Hungary (12.0%), Ireland (14.9%), Portugal (11.1%), the Slovak Republic (14.0%) and Spain (20.5%).

There were 44.9 million unemployed persons in OECD countries in February 2011, down 2.1 million from February 2010 but 14.3 million higher than in February 2008.

Selected Unemployment Rates, s.a.

January 2011- February 2011


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