OECD unemployment rate rises to 6.6pc


The unemployment rate in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries increased slightly in April to 6.6 percent from 6.5 percent in March, the first monthly increase since the April 2020 peak.
The total number of unemployed workers across the OECD area, which includes eurozone countries as well as the US, Australia, Japan and the UK, among others, rose by 0.7 million to reach 43.8 million in April, despite the global economy slowly recovering from the Covid-19 crisis as the vaccination drive ramps up.
While unemployment is down from the 8.8 percent figure recorded in April last year, the OECD said “some care is needed in interpreting the fall in the OECD area unemployment rate compared to the April 2020 peak”.
“This largely reflects the return of temporary laid-off workers in the US and Canada, where they are recorded as unemployed,” the OECD said. The jobless rate in April remained 1.3 per cent above the rate recorded in February last year, before the pandemic affected the labour market.
Meanwhile, in the eurozone, a marginal decline in the unemployment rate to 8 percent was recorded, from 8.1 percent in March, but that is still 0.7 percent above its pre-pandemic level.
Outside Europe, the unemployment rate increased in several countries, rising 1.2 per cent in Colombia to 15 per cent, by 0.6 per cent in Canada and Mexico to 8.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively, and by 0.1 per cent in the US to 6.1 per cent.
“More recent data show that the unemployment rate increased marginally in Canada to 8.2 per cent while it fell by 0.3 percentage points in the US to 5.8 per cent in May 2021,” the OECD said.