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The unemployment rate in the OECD stabilizes at 5% in May 2022

The percentage of unemployed people is less than or equal to the pre-pandemic rate in two thirds of member countries.

The unemployment rate in the OECD stabilized at 5.0% in May 2022, its lowest level since the start of the series in 2001 (Chart 1). In May, the unemployment rate was below or equal to the pre-pandemic rate in two-thirds of OECD countries (Chart 2). The number of unemployed in the OECD remained broadly stable at 33.8 million.

The OECD unemployment rate for women increased slightly for the first time since December 2020. The unemployment rate for men and workers aged 25 and over remained stable, while it continued to fall among young workers (aged 15 to 24).

In the euro zone, the unemployment rate fell slightly, reaching 6.6% in May, after 6.7% in April, and remained stable in a third of the countries of the euro zone. The largest declines in the euro area were observed in Italy, Lithuania and Spain and the largest increases in Austria, Belgium and Portugal. In June 2022, the unemployment rate remained stable, at 3.6% for the fourth consecutive month, in the United States, while it fell further in Canada to reach 4.9%.

At the start of the war in Ukraine, the employment and participation rates in the OECD were both at their highest levels since the beginning of the series, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. OECD, which refers to the share of people of working age in employment, whether employed or self-employed, reached 69.0% in the first quarter of 2022. The employment rate increased in 90% of countries in the OECD.

The OECD participation rate – the share of the working-age population that is either employed or unemployed – reached 72.9% in the first quarter of 2022, reaching the level recorded in the fourth for the first time. quarter of 2019.

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