OECD unemployment rate falls to 6.0% in March 2017

The OECD unemployment rate for the population as a whole fell by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.0%, in March 2017. Across the OECD area, 37.5 million people were unemployed, 4.9 million more than in April 2008, before the crisis.

The OECD unemployment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24) fell by 0.2 percentage point in March (to 12.1%) continuing the downward trend seen in recent months and is now only 0.1 percentage point above its pre-crisis level. The youth unemployment rate fell significantly in the United States (by 0.8 percentage point, to 9.1%) and marginally in the euro area (by 0.1 percentage point, to 19.4%). However, the youth unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage point in Japan, albeit to very low levels (to 4.4%).

The unemployment rate for the population as a whole fell by 0.2 percentage point in the United States (to 4.5%) and by 0.3 percentage point in Korea (to 3.7%). It increased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 6.7%) and was stable in Japan (at 2.8%). More recent data show that in April the unemployment rate declined further in the United States (by 0.1 percentage point, to 4.4%) while it also declined in Canada (by 0.2 percentage point, to 6.5%).

The unemployment rate was stable in the euro area, at 9.5% in March 2017. Rates fell by 0.2 percentage point or more in Latvia (to 9.0%), Ireland (to 6.4%), the Netherlands (to 5.1%), the Slovak Republic (to 8.4%) and Slovenia (to 7.6%). By contrast, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage point in Austria (to 5.9%) and Italy (to 11.7%).