OECD unemployment rate falls to 7.1% in December 2014

The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point, to 7.1% in December 2014. Across the OECD area, 43 million people were unemployed, 6.7 million less than the peak recorded in April 2010, but still 8.6 million more than in July 2008.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point, to 11.4%, with the largest falls recorded in Ireland (by 0.2 percentage point, to 10.5%) and Italy (by 0.4 percentage point, to 12.9%).
In December, the unemployment rate also fell in Japan (by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.4%), in Mexico (by 0.4 percentage points, to 4.3%) and in the United States (by 0.2 percentage point, to 5.6%), while it was stable in Canada (at 6.7%) and increased in Korea (by 0.1 percentage point to 3.5%). More recent data referring to January 2015 show that the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 6.6%) while it increased by 0.1 percentage point in the United States (to 5.7%).

The OECD youth unemployment rate (among 15-24 year-olds) fell by 0.3 percentage point, to 14.6% in December. This is 2.7 percentage points below the peak recorded in October 2009. Youth unemployment remained exceptionally high in several euro area countries such as Greece (50.6% in October, the latest month available), Italy (42.0%), Portugal (34.5%) and Spain (51.4%). The OECD unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point for both women (to 7.1%) and men (to 7.0%).

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