OECD jobless rate steady at 8.6% in November

AFP, Wednesday 12 Jan 2011

S. Korea and US both contributed with an 0.4 per cent decline in unemployment, while Spain continued to post the highest rates with 20.6 per cent

The unemployment rate in advanced world economies held steady at 8.6 per cent in November, having remained close to post-World War II highs for most of 2010, the OECD said Tuesday.

"The OECD-wide rate has been stable at 8.5- 8.6 per cent since February 2010, despite diverging trends at the national level," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report.

"There were 45.8 million unemployed persons in OECD countries in November 2010, down 0.3 million from November 2009 but 15.9 million higher than in November 2007," it added.

The United States was a big game changer, with its jobless rate dropping 0.4 percentage points to 9.4 per cent in December.

South Korea's unemployment also dropped by 0.4 percentage points to 3.2 per cent in November – the lowest level among the countries to report figures.

The OECD noted that Germany, whose unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 per cent in November, is the only country to report a lower jobless rate now than in 2007.

The figures for November showed Spain remained by far the country with the highest unemployment rate among advanced economies at an unchanged 20.6 percent.

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