Employment rises across the OECD

17 Jul 18

Employment was up across the OECD countries in the first quarter of this year, according to statistics published today.

The OECD employment rate – defined as the share of the working-age population with jobs – increased by 0.2 percentage points to 68.2%. Of the 36 OECD countries, 28 saw their employment rate increase.

All age groups benefited from rising employment, but young people (aged 15-24) saw the most pronounced gains with a rise of 0.5 percentage points. Across the OECD, 41.9% of young people are in work.

These gains for younger workers bucked the recent trend, the OECD noted.

“This pattern contrasts with the one that prevailed in the recent past: compared to the previous year, the increase in the OECD employment rate was stronger for older workers than for other age groups,” it said.

‘Prime-age’ workers, those between 25 and 54, saw a 0.2% percentage point increase, taking the employment rate for this age group to 78.3%.

Employment of older workers (aged 55–64) also increased by 0.2%, taking the rate for the group to 61%.

Japan saw the biggest rise in the employment rate (up 0.6 percentage points to 66.9%), while Hungary also recorded a strong gain (up 0.5 percentage points to 69.2%).

The UK and Mexico also outperformed the OECD average with employment rate rises of 0.3 percentage points each. The UK employment rate is now 74.7%, while Mexico’s is 61.4%.

Countries that saw their employment rate fall included Canada (a 0.2 percentage point drop to 73.7%) and Iceland (a 0.4 percentage point drop to 85.2%).

Iceland, however, has by far the highest employment rate among the 36 OECD nations. Turkey, with a rate of 52.5%, has the lowest.

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