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November 1982, Vol. 105, No. 11
Unemployment and labor force trends
in 10 industrial nations: an update
In the latter half of 1981 and the first 9 months of 1982, unemployment rates approximating U.S. concepts rose sharply in most of the 10 countries covered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' series of comparative unemployment rates. Unemployment rates reached post-World War II highs in six of the industrial nationsthe United States, Canada, France, West Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. Italian unemployment, although at a comparatively moderate level of 4.7 percent after adjustment to U.S. concepts, was the highest since 1959. In addition, there were an equally large number of "discouraged workers" in Italypersons who wanted jobs but had not actively sought work recently. Although Japanese and Swedish unemployment rates remained substantially lower, in the 2 to 3 percent range, both countries had higher rates than they normally experienced over the last 20 years. Australia was the only country where the jobless rate was down in 1981; it rose, however, in the first 9 months of 1982.
This article updates comparative unemployment rates through the third quarter 1982 and other related labor market statistics through 1981 for the 10 countries. The foreign unemployment and labor force data are adjusted to U.S. concepts. Some revisions of previously published estimates are also presented; the revisions arise from incorporation of more survey results.1
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1 For further information, see International Comparisons of Unemployment, Bulletin 1979, Appendix B (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1978); and Supplement to Bulletin 1979, Appendix B (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1982).
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