International Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, Seasonally Adjusted

December 2014

12 February 2014

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Monthly reports on consumer prices and employment have been discontinued as part of the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program. Due to technical issues, the transition of monthly ILC data to the (subscription-based) Business Cycle Indicators program will be postponed until Spring 2015. Until that time, underlying data tables on monthly consumer prices and employment will continue to be published on the ILC site (see this page and Monthly International Indexes of Consumer Prices). The next update with data through January 2015 will be posted in March 2015.

 

In December 2014labor markets in Europe improved or remained steady as unemployment rates decreased or remained stable in a majority of countries compared. Only the Netherlands experienced an increase in unemployment from 6.6 to 6.7 percent, while Italy saw unemployment drop from 13.5 to 13.0 percent, the largest decrease since February 2007.

Outside of Europe, the labor market improved or remained stable as the unemployment rate decreased in Australia from 6.2 to 6.1 percent and in the United States from 5.8 to 5.6 percent.  Both Japan and Germany experienced historic lows in joblessness. Germany’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent and Japan remained at 2.9 percent, the lowest either country has experienced since the 1990s.  See Table 1 and Chart 3-4.

 

However, employment trends in December 2014 were mixed. Employment increased in Japan, Italy, Australia, Germany, and the United States and decreased in Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Japan experienced the largest increase in the employment index (January 2007 = 100), from 99.5 to 100.1, returning for the first time since February 2009 to pre-recession levels of employment.  See Table 3 and Chart 5.

Although Italy experienced the largest drop in unemployment in December  to 13.0 percent, it remains the only country compared that has an unemployment rate over 10.0 percent and employment that is still below pre-recession levels.

 

Table 1. Unemployment rates adjusted to US concepts, seasonally adjusted

(in percent)

 

 20132014/PDec. 2013Oct. 2014Nov. 2014Dec. 2014Change from Nov. 2014-Dec. 2014
United States 7.4 6.2 6.7 5.7 5.8 5.6 -0.2
Australia 5.6 6.0 5.9 6.3 6.2 6.1 -0.1
Canada 6.1 5.9 6.1 5.6 5.7 5.7 0.0
France 10.4 10.3 9.8 9.9 10.0 10.0 0.0
Germany 5.3 5.1 5.2 5.0 5.0 4.9 -0.1
Italy 12.3 12.9 12.8 13.4 13.5 13.0 -0.5
Japan 3.4 3.0 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.9 0.0
Netherlands 6.7 6.8 7.1 6.5 6.6 6.7 0.1
Sweden 8.0 7.9 8 8.0 7.7 7.5 -0.2
United Kingdom 7.6 NA 7.2 5.9 NA NA NA
Notes:
NA means data not available.
/P means data are preliminary estimates
See technical notes for information on sources and methods.
Source: The Conference Board, International Labor Comparisons program 

 

Table 2. Unemployment rates unadjusted by The Conference Board, seasonally adjusted

(in percent)


 20132014Dec. 2013Oct. 2014Nov. 2014Dec. 2014Change from Nov. 2014-Dec. 2014
EU-28 10.8 10.2 10.6 10.0 10.0 9.9 -0.1
Euro Area 12.0 11.6 11.9 11.5 11.5 11.4 -0.1
Austria 4.9 NA 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.9 0.0
Belgium 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.5 8.5 8.4 -0.1
Denmark 7.0 NA 7.2 6.4 6.4 6.4 0.0
Finland 8.2 8.7 8.3 8.9 8.9 8.9 0.0
Greece 27.5 NA 27.3 25.8 NA NA NA
Ireland 13.1 11.4 12.1 10.9 10.7 10.5 -0.2
Portugal 16.4 14.1 15.2 13.5 13.5 13.4 -0.1
Spain 26.1 24.5 25.6 23.9 23.8 23.7 -0.1
Note:
(1) The European Union-28 (EU-28) refers to the EU member countries as of July 1, 2013.
(2) The Euro Area refers to the EU member countries that adopted the euro as a common currency.
NA means data not available.
See technical notes for information on sources and methods.
Source: Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT)

TABLE 3. Employment indexes adjusted to US concepts, seasonally adjusted


 20132014/PDec. 2013Oct. 2014Nov. 2014Dec. 2014Change from Nov. 2014-Dec. 2014
                               2007 = 100                               January 2007 = 100  
United States 98.5 100.1 99.1 100.8 100.9 101.0 0.1
Australia 109.9 111.0 111.7 113.0 113.5 113.8 0.3
Canada 105.8 106.6 107.1 108.3 108.3 108.2 -0.1
France 101.1 101.6 101.4 102.5 102.2 102.2 0.0
Germany 106.5 107.5 108.0 109.1 109.2 109.4 0.2
Italy 96.6 96.4 96.7 97.0 96.8 97.2 0.4
Japan 98.3 98.9 99.6 99.6 99.5 100.1 0.6
Netherlands 101.4 100.8 102.2 102.8 102.8 102.7 -0.1
Sweden 103.5 105.0 104.4 105.7 106.4 106.2 -0.2
United Kingdom 102.3 NA 103.9 105.6 NA NA NA
Notes:
NA means data not available.
/P means data are preliminary estimates
See technical notes for information on sources and methods.
Source: The Conference Board, International Labor Comparisons program 

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