Labour statistics

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  • Labour force statistics

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) considers people of working age to be in one (and one only) of three situations in the labour market: employed, unemployed, or inactive. The employed and unemployed together are known as the labour force.

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  • Unemployment rate

    A closely watched indicator is the unemployment rate (the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour force). The unemployment rate tracks what economists call “labour slack” – the match between the jobs on offer in an economy and the number of people seeking to work – and is a key indicator of a society’s economic and social well-being.

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  • Labour market situation

    Labour force data are typically analysed by gender, age group (youth, prime age, older). They are also frequently broken down in many other ways for specific policy purposes: by economic sector, by occupation, by level of education, full- and part-time workers, the short- and long-term unemployed.

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What's new

OECD unemployment rate stable at 5.2% in September 2019

OECD Unemployment Rates

OECD unemployment rate


13/11/2019 - The OECD unemployment rate was stable at 5.2% in September 2019. Across the OECD area, 33.1 million people were unemployed.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate was also stable in September, at 7.5%. The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point in Luxembourg (to 5.4%) but increased by 0.3 percentage point in Italy (to 9.9%) and by 0.2 percentage point in Portugal (to 6.6%), with changes of 0.1 percentage point or less in other countries.


Behind the numbers 


Further statistics on the labour market

Related labour topics

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