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OECD unemployment stabilises

Latest figures from Paris this morning show that the OECD unemployment rate stabilised at 8.8% in December 2009. This was unchanged from the previous month but was up by 1.8 percentage points from the same month a year earlier.


Given that unemployment is a lagging indicator, and normally continues rising after a recession has come to an end, it is good to see that stability is fairly widespread at the moment.


In fact, the latest figures for January 2010 show that unemployment has fallen in both Canada and the US. In the US, the unemployment rate declined to 9.7% from a rate of 10.0% in December 2009, and in Canada the rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 8.3% in January.


Time to get those job applications in the post.

Time to get those job applications in the post.

Of course, the UK is also showing very promising signs of a recovery in unemployment even though we only officially came out of recession in the final quarter of last year, and that with a growth rate of only 0.1%. Although, the latest figures show that UK unemployment was stable at 7.8%, there were absolute falls in the numbers unemployed in both the Labour Force Survey and the claimant count measures of unemployment.


In other major economies, the unemployment rate was unchanged in France at 10.0% and Germany also saw no change with a rate of 7.5%. However, in the euro area as a whole, unemployment actually rose by 0.1 percentage points to 10.0% in December 2009. Given the problems with Greece and its budget deficit, plus similar problems in Ireland, Spain and Portugal it may be some while before the recovery evens out across the euro area.

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Posted in eurozone, OECD, unemployment

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