PARIS (AFP) – Improvement in the jobs market appears to have stalled in recent months, according to data released on Thursday, amid rising concern of a slowdown in the global economy.
While the unemployment rate in the 34 advanced nations in the OECD dipped by 0.1 points to 7.3 per cent in August, there has not been significant improvement since the beginning of the year.
The OECD unemployment rate was 7.7 per cent in the final quarter of last year.
The International Monetary Fund warned of stagnation in advanced economies on Tuesday when it trimmed its growth forecast for the whole world by 0.1 percentage point to 3.3 per cent.
After a drop from 6.7 per cent to 6.3 per cent in April, the US jobless rate has improved only to 6.1 per cent in August, according to OECD harmonised data for international comparison.
The situation is similar for the eurozone, where the jobless rate has been stuck at 11.5 per cent for several months after coming down slightly from 11.9 per cent in the beginning of the year.
Japan scored a 0.3-point drop in August to 3.5 per cent, but this brings it back to the level of the first quarter after rising for several months.
Korea has been on a similar trend, with its jobless rate edging up 0.1 points to 3.5 per cent in August.
While there is a lag in the delay from Britain, the non-eurozone country appears to be posting steady reductions in the unemployment rate. At 6.2 per cent in June, the jobless rate was down considerably from the 7.1 per cent in the final quarter of last year.
The overall eurozone rate masks the diverging fortunes of its members.
While steady at 10.5 per cent in France in August, the jobless rate is up from 10.2 per cent in the final quarter of last year.
It has held roughly steady in Germany and Italy in recent months, but there have been improvements in Spain, Austria and the Netherlands.