Press Release / News

Unemployment Rates Remain Mixed in Europe

11 September, 2014

NOTE: Beginning October 1, The Conference Board will no longer issue monthly International Labor Comparisons (ILC) reports on consumer prices and employment. This step will allow The Conference Board to dedicate more resources to continuing and strengthening the annual ILC reports on labor compensation, productivity and competitiveness. The underlying data tables on monthly consumer prices and employment will continue to be published on The Conference Board website through December 2014 (see schedule through December). Beginning January 1, 2015, related data series will be available via the Business Cycle Indicators program on a subscription basis. Historical monthly and annual datasets will remain publicly available on The Conference Board website.

In July, unemployment rates remained mixed in Europe, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program.

Unemployment decreased in Germany (from 5.0 to 4.9 percent), the Netherlands (from 6.8 to 6.7 percent) and Sweden (from 7.9 to 7.7 percent), but increased in France (from 9.8 to 9.9 percent) and Italy (from 12.5 to 12.7 percent).

“The variation in recent unemployment trends throughout Europe – remaining elevated and increasing in France and Italy while gradually coming down in the Netherlands and Sweden – highlights the mixed paths toward labor market recovery in the region,” said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. “Contrary to most other European markets, Germany shows signs of existing labor market shortages given an overall upward trend in employment and historically low and declining unemployment rates, dipping below 5 percent for the first time since unification in 1991.”

In the U.S., joblessness rose (from 6.1 to 6.2 percent) after four straight months of steady or declining unemployment. Australia and Japan also saw the unemployment rate rise, while remaining stable in Canada. While Japan’s unemployment rate remains the lowest of all countries compared (3.2 percent) and has largely been on a downward trend since September 2013, it has increased in the previous two consecutive months.

About Adjusted Employment Data and International Labor Comparisons (ILC)

Governments vary in the methods and definitions used to calculate labor force statistics. To facilitate comparison across countries, The Conference Board adjusts unemployment rates and employment indexes to match U.S. concepts. A monthly report compiles adjusted data for ten countries, alongside unadjusted unemployment rates from ten additional economies in Europe. All data is seasonally adjusted; employment indexes are benchmarked to January 2007 (= 100). 

The data is published as part of The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.

For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:

For the associated report, tables, and technical notes:

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.


For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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