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January 1984, Vol. 107, No. 1
Recent labor market developments
in the U.S. and nine other countries
During 1982, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the six European countries covered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics series on comparative unemployment rates all recorded post-World War II high unemployment rates. Unemployment began to recede in the United States and Canada in the first quarter of 1983 and continued downward through the third quarter. In contrast, unemployment in most of the other countries continued to increase or stabilized at historically high rates. Even Japan, which has had much lower rates than most industrial nations, recorded a post-World War II high in unemployment during the first three quarters of 1983. Of the countries studied, Great Britain had the highest jobless rate in the third quarter of 1983 (13.6 percent), and Japan, the lowest (2.7 percent); among the European countries, Sweden recorded the lowest rate (3.7 percent).
In 1982, North American and British unemployment rates were higher for men than for women. In the United States, it was the first time that the rates were consistently higher for men than for women. In contrast, jobless rates for women in Japan, Australia, and most continental European nations remained above those for men.
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