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Labor markets improved overall across advanced economies, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data from The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program for December.
“Unemployment rates in December were lower than rates at the start of 2013, not only in the U.S., but in Japan and the European Union as a whole,” said Elizabeth Crofoot, senior economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. “Despite month-to-month fluctuations throughout the year, unemployment rates in most economies in the study have remained relatively stable or have nudged downward over the past twelve months.”
The unemployment rate in December fell in three of the nine countries included in the study, was unchanged in four, and rose in two. The U.S. and Japan again saw the largest declines, falling 0.3 points each to 6.7 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. For Japan, this was the largest monthly decline in joblessness since the beginning of the ILC series in January 2007. Unemployment in Italy declined 0.1 points to 12.8 percent, after hitting a record high in November. Joblessness edged up 0.1 points in both Canada and the Netherlands.