Labor Markets Remain Stable in Many Advanced Economies

Unemployment in U.S. and Japan Continues to Fall; Europe Still Struggles

Nov 07, 2013, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Labor markets remain stable in many advanced economies, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program for September.

The unemployment rate in September was unchanged in four of the nine countries compared. Unemployment decreased in three countries – U.S., Japan and Australia. Japan had the lowest rate at 3.5 percent – a trend which has continued since July 2011. However, the jobless rate in Italy and France increased. These countries also had the highest unemployment rates in September (12.6 percent and 10.9 percent respectively).

"Despite record high unemployment in Europe, joblessness in some economies outside of Europe remains stable or is decreasing," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "Particularly in the United States, Canada, and Japan, unemployment rates continue to fall from highs seen in 2009."

Employment in September rose in all economies compared except Canada and Italy. In Italy, the 0.4 percent decline in employment was the largest drop since January 2013. Italy continues to have the lowest employment index (96.8), while Australia has the highest (111.8). Canada was unchanged, and remains at 107.2. The U.S. increased 0.1 percent to 98.8, a five-year high.

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 more information about The Conference Board ILC program:

For the associated report, tables, and technical notes, see International Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, Seasonally Adjusted.

About The Conference Board
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