The OECD area employment rate – defined as the share of people of working-age in employment – increased for the twelfth straight quarter, to 66.8% in the first quarter of 2016, up 0.3 percentage point on the previous quarter.
Compared to the previous quarter, the euro area employment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point (to 65.1%), the tenth consecutive quarter of growth. The employment rate also increased by 0.4 percentage point in the United States (to 69.3%) and Japan (to 74.0%), and by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 72.5%) and the United Kingdom (to 73.3%). It decreased by 0.3 percentage point in Mexico (to 60.9%).
The most significant increases occurred in Hungary (up 0.8 percentage point, to 65.6%), the Czech Republic (up 0.7 percentage point, to 71.4%), the Slovak Republic (up 0.7 percentage point, to 64.2%), Poland (up 0.6 percentage point, to 64.2%) and Turkey (up 0.6 percentage point, to 51.0%).
The OECD area employment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24) increased by 0.2 percentage point to 40.7% in the first quarter of 2016 but was stable in the euro area, at 30.8%. Stability within the euro area however masks divergent patterns across countries. Compared to last year’s first quarter, the youth employment rate rose by more than 0.5 percentage point in Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and declined by more than 0.5 percentage point in Luxembourg, Estonia, Germany,Greece, Belgium and Austria.
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