Worldwide Unemployment Rates

OECD Unemployment

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On Friday August 11th the OECD published the Unemployment rates of its member countries. They call it the “Harmonised Unemployment Rate” meaning that they may adjust the rate depending on how the individual countries calculate it so they are comparable.

Note: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries, founded in 1960 to stimulate economic progress and world trade, headquartered in Paris France. In addition to its other functions the OECD publishes books, reports, statistics, working papers and reference materials.

The countries with the highest unemployment rates were:

 

Top 6 Highest Unemployment Rates in OECD Countries

Based on the most recent numbers we have for each country, we can see from the table below that the six countries with the highest unemployment rates are all in the Mediterranean area, with Greece having the highest unemployment rate at 21.7% as of their last reporting (they are also among the slowest to report). Followed by Spain and Turkey.

 

Highest to Lowest Jan-2017 Feb-2017 Mar-2017 Apr-2017 May-2017 Jun-2017 Jul-2017
Greece 23.1% 22.6% 22% 21.7%
Spain 18.4% 18.2% 18.0% 17.6% 17.3% 17.1%
Turkey 11.6% 11.6% 11.5% 11.3%
Italy 11.8% 11.4% 11.5% 11.1% 11.3% 11.1%
France 9.7% 9.6% 9.6% 9.5% 9.6% 9.6%
Portugal 10.1% 9.9% 9.7% 9.5% 9.2% 9.0%

 

Middle Unemployment Rates

The following Countries fall among the middle of pack and have unemployment rates roughly between 5% and 8%.

Highest to Lowest Jan-2017 Feb-2017 Mar-2017 Apr-2017 May-2017 Jun-2017 Jul-2017
Finland 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.7
Latvia 9.3 8.9 8.5 8.3 8.2 8.3
Slovak Republic 8.7 8.5 8.3 8.2 8.0 7.6
Belgium 7.6 7.6 7.6
Slovenia 7.5 7.3 7.1 7.1 7.1 7.1
Chile 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.7
Canada 6.8 6.6 6.7 6.5 6.6 6.5 6.3
Sweden 6.8 6.8 6.4 6.7 6.7 6.4
Ireland 6.9 6.8 6.6 6.4 6.4 6.3
Estonia 5.9 5.6 5.6 6.3 6.9
Luxembourg 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
Denmark 6.1 6.1 5.9 5.6 5.7
Austrailia 5.7 5.9 5.9 5.7 5.6 5.6
Austria 5.7 5.8 5.7 5.4 5.2 5.2
Netherlands 5.3 5.3 5.1 5.1 5.1 4.9

Countries with the Lowest Unemployment Rates

As we can see the U.S. barely makes it into the “Best” category, beaten not surprisingly by:

  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • and Germany.

But the U.S. is also beaten by a few unexpected countries including:

  • Mexico
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • and Israel

It is also roughly on par with

  • the United Kingdom
  • Norway
  • and just barely beats Poland.
 Highest to Lowest Jan-2017 Feb-2017 Mar-2017 Apr-2017 May-2017 Jun-2017 Jul-2017
Poland 5.2 5 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8
United States 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3
United Kingdom 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.4
Norway 4.2 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.5
Israel 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5
Hungary 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.3
Germany 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.8
Korea 3.6 4.0 3.7 4.0 3.6 3.8
Mexico 3.5 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.3
Czech Republic 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3 2.9 2.9
Japan 3.0 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.1 2.8
Iceland 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.7 2.6

 

As we can see from the table below not all the countries report and some report later than others.

All OECD Unemployment (Sorted Alphabetically)

 OECD 2015 2016 Jan-17 Feb-2-17 Mar-17 Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17
Countries
Austrailia 6.1 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.9 5.7 5.6 5.6  NA
Austria 5.7 6.0 5.7 5.8 57 5.4 5.2 5.2  NA
Belgium 8.5 7.8 7.6 7.6 7.6  NA  NA  NA  NA
Canada 6.9 7.0 6.8 6.6 6.7 6.5 6.6 6.5 6.3
Chile 6.2 6.5 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.7  NA  NA
Czech Republic 5.1 4.0 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3 2.9 2.9  NA
Denmark 6.2 6.2 6.1 6.1 5.9 5.6 5.7  NA  NA
Estonia 6.2 6.8 5.9 5.6 5.6 6.3 6.9  NA  NA
Finland 9.4 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.7  NA
France 10.4 10.1 9.7 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.6 9.6  NA
Germany 4.6 10.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.8  NA
Greece 25.0 4.1 23.1 22.6 22 21.7  NA  NA  NA
Hungary 6.8 23.6 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.3  NA  NA
Iceland 4.0 5.1 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.7 2.6  NA  NA
Ireland 9.5 4.7 6.9 6.8 6.6 6.4 6.4 6.3  NA
Israel 5.2 6.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5  NA
Italy 11.9 11.2 11.8 11.4 11.5 11.1 11.3 11.1  NA
Japan 3.4 9.7 3.0 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.1 2.8  NA
Korea 3.6 8.0 3.6 4.0 3.7 4.0 3.6 3.8  NA
Latvia 9.9 9.6 9.3 8.9 8.5 8.3 8.2 8.3  NA
Luxembourg 6.5 19.7 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0  NA
Mexico 4.4 3.9 3.5 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.3  NA
Netherlands 6.9 6.0 5.3 5.3 5.1 5.1 5.1 4.9  NA
New Zealand 5.4 5.1  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA  NA
Norway 4.4 4.7 4.2 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.5  NA  NA
Poland 7.5 6.2 5.2 5 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8  NA
Portugal 12.7 11.2 10.1 9.9 9.7 9.5 9.2 9.0  NA
Slovak Republic 11.5 9.7 8.7 8.5 8.3 8.2 8.0 7.6  NA
Slovenia 9.0 8.0 7.5 7.3 7.1 7.1 7.1 7.1  NA
Spain 22.1 19.7 18.4 18.2 18.0 17.6 17.3 17.1  NA
Sweden 7.4 7.0 6.8 6.8 6.4 6.7 6.7 6.4 NA
Switzerland 4.8 7.0  NA NA NA NA NA NA  NA
Turkey 10.3 10.9 11.6 11.6 11.5 11.3  NA NA  NA
United Kingdom 5.3 4.8 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.4 NA NA  NA
United States 5.3 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3
Euro area 10.9 10.0 9.6 9.5 9.4 9.2 9.2 9.1  NA
OECD Total (Estimated) 6.8 6.3 6.0 6 5.9 5.9 5.9 5.8  NA

 

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