How U.S. Unemployment Rates Compare to other OECD Countries

Unemployment rates in the U.S. in January were 8.3%
See: Unemployment Rate Chart
Which is very similar to the average Unemployment rate in other OECD countries. The OECD area average unemployment rate was 8.2% in January 2012, having remained basically unchanged throughout 2011. The Euro area was significantly higher at 10.7% reaching a record high since the start of the global financial crisis. It has continued to move higher since June 2011 while the U.S. has decreased from 9.1% to 8.3% during the same period.

Austria remains lower than the rest of the Euro area (and the U.S.) with an unemployment rate of 4.0%, Luxembourg has a rate of 5.1% and Germany has 5.8% compared to other Euro area countries like the Slovak Republic at 13.3%,  Slovenia 8.2% and Finland 7.5%. The dubious honor of the highest unemployment rate in the OECD goes to Spain with an unemployment rate of 23.3%.

Among non-European OECD countries, the unemployment rate fell slightly in Australia (to 5.1%), Mexico (to 4.8%) while it increased slightly in Japan (to 4.6%) and Korea (to 3.2%).

New data for February 2012 show that the unemployment rate for the United States was stable at a seasonally adjusted 8.3% (following five consecutive monthly declines) while it fell by 0.2 percentage point in Canada (to 7.4%).

OECD Unemployment January 2012

Unadjusted U-3 unemployment in the U.S. in February was 8.7%
See: U-6 Unemployment Rate for information on the broader unemployment rate calculation.


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