The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – increased by 0.1 percentage point in the second quarter of 2018, to 68.3%. Across the OECD area, 568 million people were employed in the second quarter of 2018. In the United States as well as in a number of European countries, the employment rate is still below the level in the second quarter of 2008.

In the euro area, the employment rate continued to rise in the second quarter of 2018 (by 0.3 percentage point, to 67.2%), with the highest increases being recorded in Lithuania (up 0.8 percentage point, to 72.0%), Estonia (up 0.7 percentage point, to 74.6%) and Spain (up 0.7 percentage point, to 62.4%). By contrast, the employment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage point in Belgium (to 63.8%) and by 0.5 percentage point in Luxembourg (to 66.5%).

Outside the euro area, the employment rate increased by 0.5 percentage point in Denmark (to 75.5%) and Poland (to 67.4%), by 0.3 percentage point in Japan (to 76.7%), by 0.2 percentage point in Mexico (to 61.6%) and by 0.1 percentage point in the United States (to 70.6%). It was stable in the United Kingdom (at 74.7%) and decreased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 73.6%), by 0.6 percentage point in Turkey (to 51.8%) and by 0.8 percentage point in Iceland (to 84.2%).

The increase in the OECD area employment level reflects a further improvement of employment in services in the second quarter of 2018, while employment was almost stable in industry, and decreased in agriculture. As a result, the share of services in total OECD employment increased (to 73.4%), while it decreased for industry (to 22.1%) and agriculture (to 4.4%). The share of employment in industry was higher in the euro area and Japan than in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the latter countries, employment in services was around 80% of total employment.