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The OECD produces harmonised unemployment rates for OECD members based on the ILO definition of unemployment.

The UK harmonised unemployment rate for Q4 2021 was 4.1%, down from 4.3% in Q3. The UK rate for Q4 was above Germany (3.2%) but below the US (4.2%) and France (7.5%).

The rate for the Eurozone fell from 7.1% to 6.9% in Q1 2022, while in the G7 it fell from 4.5% to 4.2%. The UK figure for Q1 has not yet been published.

Unemployment rates rose in almost all the OECD countries following the coronavirus outbreak, although the size of the increase varied widely.

Costa Rica and Spain had the highest unemployment rates out of the OECD member states in Q4 2021 at 13.6%. Czech Republic had the lowest at 2.3%.

Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q4 2021 the youth unemployment rate was 35.7% in Costa Rica, 31.9% in Greece and 31.4% in Spain. It was 11.2% in the UK.


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