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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 Q2 2021 was 4.7%. This was above Germany (3.6%) but below the US (5.9%) and France (8.2%).

The rate for the Eurozone fell from 8.0% to 7.5% in Q2 2021, while in the G7 it fell from 5.6% to 5.0%. The UK figure for this quarter has not been published.

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

Costa Rica had the highest unemployment rate out of the OECD member states in Q2 2021 (17.8%) followed by Greece at 16.0%. Japan had the lowest at 2.9%.

Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q2 2021 the youth unemployment rate was 39.7% in Costa Rica, 39.0% in Greece and 37.6% in Spain. It was 13.1% in the UK.


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