Stubborn unemployment throughout OECD countries despite global recovery

Julian Harris
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UNEMPLOYMENT in countries across several continents remained close to post war highs in November, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced yesterday.

Unemployment across the OECD area stuck at 8.6 per cent, despite economic recoveries. In 2007 the average was just 5.8 per cent.

In the UK unemployment remains below eight per cent, slightly beneath the OECD average.

“There were 45.8m unemployed persons in OECD countries in November 2010, down 0.3m from November 2009,” the Paris-based group reported.

“However, this is 5.9m higher than in November 2007.”

In the Eurozone area, the rate has stuck to 10.1 per cent, despite being significantly lower in core economies such as Germany (6.7 per cent) where the recovery is strong.

Germany is the only OECD country reporting a lower unemployment rate today than in 2007, the report said.

The highest rates tend to be found in troubled peripheral areas of the Eurozone, such as Spain (20.6 per cent), Portugal (11 per cent) and Ireland (13.9 per cent).

Hungary, where tensions remain between the government and the central bank, saw its unemployment rate edge up to 11.3 per cent (from 11 per cent) between September and November.