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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 Q1 2021 was 4.8%. This was above the rate of Germany (3.9%) but below that of the US (6.8%) and France (8.1%). The unemployment rate for the Eurozone was 8.2%, while in the G7 it was 5.7%.

Almost all of the OECD countries have seen an increase in their unemployment rates since the coronavirus outbreak, although the size of the increase varies widely from country to country.

Costa Rica had the highest unemployment rate out of the OECD member states for Q1 2021 (18.9%) followed by Greece at 16.6%. Japan had the lowest at 2.8%.

Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a major issue in many developed economies at present. In Q1 2021 youth unemployment was 44.2% in Costa Rica, 41.9% in Greece and 39.0% in Spain. UK youth unemployment stood at 13.3%.


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