Menu Close

Unemployment rates, OECD – Updated: May 2022

Unemployment rates, OECD – Updated: May 2022

In this article you will find information on Unemployment rates, OECD – Updated: May 2022.

OECD unemployment rate falls further to 5.1 % in March 2022

The unemployment rate in the OECD has now fallen back to 5.1% in March this year from 5.2% in February. Which represents a continuation of a trend that has been positive for the OECD and the eleventh consecutive month of unemployment that was stable or declining and remained below the pre-Covid 19 pandemic rate of 5.3% that was recorded in February 2020.

In addition, the unemployment rate has been below the pre-pandemic rate in two-thirds of OECD countries in the month of March, compared to half of them in the month of February. Also, the number of jobless workers in the OECD has continued to fall to 34.6 million, down 0.9 million.

The March decline in the OECD unemployment rate was registered for both women and men.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate fell again to 6.8 % in March. The largest declines were recorded in Austria, Italy and Latvia. And the largest increases were observed in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Outside the euro area, the unemployment rate fell notably in Mexico and, more modestly, in Canada, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Israel, Japan and also the United States. However, unemployment rose in Turkey, Colombia and Denmark. The most recent data have shown that in April of this year, the unemployment rate stabilized at 3.6% in the United States and decreased in Canada (to 5.2%, which is its lowest level).

It is important to note that the unemployment rate does not capture unemployed persons who are out of the labor force, either because they are not actively looking for work or because they are not available for work. 

The breaks between December 2020 and January 2021 for certain EU Member States were the result of changes in the Labor Force Survey. These breaks affected, to some extent, the euro area and OECD Total aggregates.

The drop in the OECD area unemployment rate over the April 2020 peak should be interpreted with caution, because it largely reflects the return of employees who were temporarily laid off in the U.S. and Canada.

1) Germany, Greece and Slovenia, which experienced a methodological break in December 2020 and January 2021 in the unemployment series, were not included in the chart. 

2) In Costa Rica, Chile and Norway, there was change between February 2020 and February 2022; in the United Kingdom, between February 2020 and January 2022; in New Zealand, between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2022; Switzerland, had change between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2021.