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Eeuro area unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point to 10.1% in May

about 10 hours ago

Aine McMahon

Across the OECD area, 38.8 million people were unemployed in May 2016, 10.1 million less than in January 2013. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times




The OECD unemployment rate fell to 6.3 per cent in May.

Across the OECD area , 38.8 million people were unemployed, 10.1 million less than in January 2013, but still 6.2 million more than in April 2008, before the crisis started affecting the labour market.

In May 2016, the euro area unemployment rate also declined by 0.1 percentage point, to 10.1 per cent, with falls in about half of the countries.

The largest decline was observed in Spain, with unemployment down to 19.8 per cent.

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By contrast, the unemployment rate increased in Austria, Belgium and Latvia.

The euro area youth unemployment rate, although still above 20 per cent, declined in May for the eighth consecutive month, with rates falling by 0.2 percentage point or more in several countries: Portugal (to 28.6 per cent), Spain (to 43.9 per cent), Greece (to 50.4 per cent in March, the latest month available), Ireland (to 15.0 per cent), France (to 23.3 per cent) and Luxembourg (to 16.7 per cent).

Youth unemployment rates have been declining for at least two months in all these countries.

Beyond the euro area, in May, the largest fall in the unemployment rate was observed in the United States, where it decreased by 0.3 percentage point, to 4.7 per cent its lowest level since November 2007.

The unemployment rate also fell, by 0.2 percentage point (to 6.9 per cent), in Canada, while it was stable in Japan (at 3.2 per cent), Mexico (at 4.0 per cent) and in around one third of OECD countries.

More recent data show that in June 2016, the unemployment rate continued to decrease (by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.8 per cent) in Canada, while it increased by 0.2 percentage point (to 4.9 per cent) in the United States.

Improved labour market conditions also benefitted youth (people aged 15 to 24), whose unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point, to 12.8 per cent in May.