Last Updated: August 1, 2013

International Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, Seasonally Adjusted, 2009-2013

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Elimination of ILC
  • BLS has eliminated the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program. This is the last BLS release of international unemployment rates and employment indexes.


  • The BLS is aware of other organizations that have obtained the methodology and intend to produce ILC indicators similar to those done previously by BLS. Please see the announcement at www.bls.gov/ilc

 

Highlights

  • Of the countries covered by the BLS unemployment comparisons program, the unemployment rate in June 2013 decreased for Germany, Italy, and Japan, remained the same in the United States, and increased for Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. See Chart 1 and Table 1.
  • The highest unemployment rates for June 2013 were in Italy (12.2 percent) and France (10.7 percent), while the lowest rate for that month was in Japan (3.4 percent).
  • Of the EU countries not covered in the BLS comparisons but tracked by BLS, the unemployment rate in June 2013 decreased in all countries except Belgium. See Chart 2 and Table 2.
  • Employment in June 2013 remained level in Canada, Germany, and Japan, rose in the United States, Australia, and Sweden, and declined in Italy and the Netherlands. See Table 3.

 

 

CHART 1.  Unemployment rates adjusted to U.S. concepts, 10 countries, seasonally adjusted, February 2012–May 2013

NOTE: Latest available monthly data are shown for each country. See Table 1.

 

 

CHART 2.  Unemployment rates unadjusted by BLS, 10 European Union countries or areas, seasonally adjusted, February 2012–May 2013

NOTE: Latest available monthly data are shown for each country. See Table 2.

 

Table 1. Unemployment rates adjusted to U.S. concepts, 10 countries, seasonally adjusted (in percent)
2009 2010 2011 2012 Q2 2012 Q4 2012 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Jun. 2012 Apr. 2013 May 2013 Jun. 2013 Change from May 2013-Jun. 2013

United States

9.3 9.6 8.9 8.1 8.2 7.8 7.7 7.5 8.2 7.5 7.6 7.6 0.0

Australia

5.6 5.2 5.1 5.2 5.1 5.4 5.5 5.6 r 5.2 5.6 r 5.6 5.7 0.1

Canada

7.3 7.1 6.5 6.3 6.4 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.2 0.1

France

9.2 9.4 9.3 10.0 9.9 10.3 r 10.5 10.6 9.9 r 10.5 r 10.6 10.7 0.1

Germany (1)

7.8 7.1 5.9 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.5 -0.1

Italy

7.9 8.5 8.5 10.8 10.7 11.4 12.0 12.2 10.9 12.1 12.3 12.2 -0.1

Japan (2)

4.8 4.7 4.2 3.9 3.9 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.8 3.6 3.6 3.4 -0.2

Netherlands

3.7 4.5 4.5 5.3 5.2 5.7 6.2 6.7 5.2 6.5 6.7 6.9 0.2

Sweden

8.3 8.5 7.7 7.9 r 7.8 8.1 8.1 8.0 r 7.7 8.2 7.8 8.0 0.2

United Kingdom

7.6 7.9 8.1 8.0 8.1 7.8 7.9 8.1 7.8

Note: See Technical notes for information on sources and methods. Longer time series are provided in the Excel version at www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_unemployment_rates_monthly.xls.
(1) Quarterly and monthly data are calculated by applying adjustment factors to current administrative data and therefore are less precise indicators of unemployment under U.S. concepts than the annual figures.
(2) Japan data from March 2011 through August 2011 are based on referential estimates from the Statistics Bureau of Japan that include areas affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
r = revised

Table 2. Unemployment rates unadjusted by BLS, 10 European Union countries or areas, seasonally adjusted (in percent)
2009 2010 2011 2012 Q2 2012 Q4 2012 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Jun. 2012 Apr. 2013 May 2013 Jun. 2013 Change from May 2013-Jun. 2013

EU-27 (1)

9.0 9.7 9.7 10.5 10.4 10.7 10.9 11.0 10.5 r 11.0 r 11.0 10.9 -0.1

Euro area (1)

9.6 10.1 10.2 11.4 11.3 11.8 12.0 12.1 11.4 r 12.1 12.1 12.1 0.0

Austria

4.8 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.6 4.9 4.5 4.8 4.7 4.6 -0.1

Belgium

7.9 8.3 7.2 7.6 7.6 8.0 8.3 8.6 7.7 r 8.6 8.6 8.7 0.1

Denmark

6.0 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.9 7.3 7.1 7.9 7.0 6.8

Finland

8.2 8.4 7.8 7.7 7.7 7.9 r 8.1 8.1 7.7 r 8.1 r 8.1 8.0 -0.1

Greece

9.5 12.6 17.7 24.3 23.9 26.1 26.6 24.7 26.9

Ireland

12.0 13.9 14.7 14.7 14.9 14.2 13.7 13.5 14.9 13.5 13.6 13.5 -0.1

Portugal

10.6 12.0 12.9 15.9 15.6 17.0 17.6 17.6 15.8 17.8 17.6 17.4 -0.2

Spain

18.0 20.1 21.7 25.0 24.7 26.1 r 26.4 26.4 r 25.1 r 26.5 r 26.4 26.3 -0.1

Note: These data are prepared by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT). See Technical notes for information on sources and methods. Longer time series are provided in the Excel version at www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_unemployment_rates_monthly.xls.
(1) The European Union-27 (EU-27) refers to the EU member countries as of January 1, 2007. The Euro area refers to the EU member countries that adopted the euro as a common currency. See Technical notes.
r = revised

Table 3. Employment indexes adjusted ot U.S. concepts, 10 countries, seasonally adjusted
Q1 2007 = 100 January 2007 = 100
Q2 2012 Q4 2012 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Jun. 2012 Apr. 2013 May 2013 Jun. 2013 Change from May 2013-Jun. 2013

United States

97.3 98.1 98.1 98.4 97.5 98.3 98.5 98.7 0.2

Australia

110.2 110.6 111.3 111.6 110.5 111.9 111.9 112.0 0.1

Canada

105.1 105.9 106.2 106.5 105.4 106.4 106.9 106.9 0.0

France

101.0 102.0 101.8 101.7 (1) (1) (1) (1)

Germany

106.0 106.3 106.5 106.6 106.2 106.7 106.8 106.8 0.0

Italy

99.5 98.8 97.9 97.6 99.4 97.7 97.7 97.6 -0.1

Japan (2)

97.8 98.0 98.3 98.4 98.3 98.7 98.8 98.8 0.0

Netherlands

103.0 103.3 102.8 102.4 103.4 102.9 102.7 102.6 -0.1

Sweden

103.3 103.6 103.8 104.1 103.5 103.7 103.8 103.9 0.1

United Kingdom

101.4 102.3 102.3 101.8 102.3

Note: See Technical notes for information on sources and methods. Longer time series are provided in the Excel version at www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_unemployment_rates_monthly.xls.
(1) Data are not published on a monthly basis.

 

Technical notes

Data adjusted to U.S. concepts


Data in tables 1 and 3 are on a civilian labor force basis and are from household surveys unless otherwise noted. Although the U.S. lower age limit is 16 years, the age limit for other countries varies from 15 to 16 years. No adjustment is made for the treatment of layoffs. For some countries, no adjustment is made for the treatment of unpaid family workers, persons waiting to start a new job, and passive job seekers (for example, persons only reading newspaper ads as their method of job search). In the United States, job search must be "active," such as placing or answering advertisements, and simply reading ads is not enough to qualify as active search. These unadjusted differences have a negligible effect on the comparisons. For further information on comparability issues, see Constance Sorrentino, "International unemployment rates: how comparable are they?" Monthly Labor Review, June 2000, pp. 3-20, at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2000/06/art1full.pdf.

Employment indexes are calculated using employment levels underlying the unemployment rates and therefore are also from household surveys. Household surveys provide greater comparability of labor market trends across countries than establishment surveys, although both types of surveys are used to measure employment. In the United States, the establishment survey provides a highly reliable gauge of monthly change in nonfarm payroll employment while the household survey provides a broader picture of employment including agriculture and the self-employed. For details on the differences between the two U.S. surveys, see www.bls.gov/web/ces_cps_trends.pdf. Note that trends shown in table 3 are for the number of persons in employment and not the number of jobs.

For further qualifications on data adjusted to U.S. concepts and historical annual figures, see "International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, Adjusted to U.S. Concepts, 16 countries" at www.bls.gov/ilc/flscomparelf.htm.


Unemployment rates unadjusted by BLS


Data in table 2 are not adjusted by BLS to reflect U.S. concepts. They exclude conscripts but include career military living in private households. These data are prepared by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) according to the International Labor Office (ILO) definitions and are called harmonized unemployment rates. For details on methods and concepts, see "European Union labor force survey, methods and concepts, 2001," at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-BF-03-002/EN/KS-BF-03-002-EN.PDF. Data are reproduced with permission from EUROSTAT.

The European Union-27 (EU-27) refers to EU member countries as of January 1, 2007. The EU-27 rate is the population-weighted average for the following 27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The Euro area refers to EU member countries that adopted the euro as a common currency. The composition of the euro area changes over time. As the euro area expands, data for new member countries are linked into this moving coverage series. Thus, the euro area rate changes its geographical coverage according to the composition of the euro area during the period to which the data refer. For January 2011 onward, the euro area rate is the population-weighted average for the following 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

 

Last Modified Date: August 15, 2013