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OECD unemployment rate stable at 6.6% in December 2015

Staff writer |
The OECD unemployment rate was stable at 6.6% in December 2015, 1.5 percentage points below the January 2013 peak.

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Across the OECD area, 40.4 million people were unemployed, 8.4 million less than in January 2013, but still 7.9 million more than in April 2008, before the crisis.In December, the euro area unemployment rate continued to decline (by 0.1 percentage point, to 10.4%).

Within the euro area, the largest falls were observed in Portugal (down 0.4 percentage point, to 11.8%), the Slovak Republic (down 0.2 percentage point, to 10.6%) and Spain (down 0.2 percentage point, to 20.8%)

The unemployment rate was stable in December in Japan (at 3.3%) and the United States (at 5.0%), while it increased in Canada (by 0.1 percentage point, to 7.1%) and Mexico (by 0.4 percentage point, to 4.5%).

More recent data show that in January 2016, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point in the United States (to 4.9%), while it increased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 7.2%).

Unemployment rates have been continuously declining in a number of OECD countries over the last year, with larger falls in countries with relatively high levels of unemployment.

Compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate decreased in about three-quarters of OECD countries, with declines of one percentage point or more in Spain, the Slovak Republic, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Italy.

By contrast, unemployment rates increased in six countries: Norway, Finland, Canada, Austria, Mexico and Switzerland.

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