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Labor markets mixed in advanced economies

January 16 2014

Labor markets are mixed across many advanced economies, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data from The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program for November.

“Unemployment has declined rapidly in the U.S. in recent months, while remaining unchanged or increasing in many European countries,” said Elizabeth Crofoot, senior economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. “As a result we may begin to see joblessness in the U.S. and the Euro Area diverge over the coming months. However, Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy and which enjoys better economic conditions than most of Europe, is currently experiencing the lowest unemployment rates since unification in 1991.”

The unemployment rate in November rose in three of the nine countries compared, was unchanged in three, and fell in three. The U.S. posted the largest decline, down 0.2 points to 7.0 percent. It was followed by the Netherlands and Japan, which continues to have the lowest unemployment at 3.5 percent. Germany had the lowest unemployment rate, 5.2 percent, since unification in 1991.

Italy was the month’s worse performer; unemployment rose 0.3 points to a record high of 12.9 percent. Sweden and Australia also saw joblessness rise.

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