Jobs Recovery in Advanced Economies Still Elusive

July Data Show Signs of Momentum in U.S., Mixed Signals Elsewhere

Sep 05, 2013, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Starting this month, The Conference Board will continue the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The international unemployment rates and employment indexes are produced using the same concepts and methodology as those formerly used by BLS. For additional information, see this news release.

Labor markets are recovering fitfully and unevenly in advanced economies worldwide, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program for July.

Unemployment rates fell from June to July in three of the ten countries compared, with Sweden and the United States posting the largest declines in unemployment (0.2 percentage points). The employment situation worsened in the Netherlands and Canada; unemployment rose in both countries by 0.1 percentage points, to 7.0 and 6.3 percent, respectively.

"While in the U.S. unemployment rates are declining rapidly, unemployment in Europe as a whole remains historically high and is not yet coming down for most of the economies," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparison Program at The Conference Board.

The employment index for the United States rose 0.1 points in July to 98.8 (January 2007 = 100), the highest level in over four years. Sweden and Germany also saw gains in their employment indexes, while Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada saw slight declines.  

The unemployment rates and employment are standardized to U.S. concepts. "The standardization offers a uniquely sound basis for comparing national labor markets," said Crofoot."

About Adjusted Employment Data and International Labor Comparisons (ILC) 
Governments vary in the methods and definitions used to calculate labor force statistics. To facilitate comparison across countries, The Conference Board adjusts unemployment rates and employment indexes to match U.S. concepts. A monthly report compiles adjusted data for ten countries, alongside unadjusted unemployment rates from ten additional economies in Europe. All data is seasonally adjusted; employment indexes are benchmarked to January 2007 (= 100). 

The data is published as part of The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.

For the full report, "International Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, July 2013":

For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

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