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Unemployment rate in rich countries up

Sep 11 2012 16:43
Sapa-AFP
Paris - The unemployment rate in advanced countries edged up to 8% in July from 7.9% in June, with young people in the front line of the jobless queues, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Tuesday.

This meant that in the OECD area, 47.9 million people were ranked as unemployed, an increase of 13.1 million from the onset of the financial crises in July 2008, the OECD said.

Of these unemployed people, 11.9 million were classed as youths.

But data for August showed the rate in the United States falling by 0.2 points to 8.1% and in Canada it was stable at 7.3%.

In the eurozone, the rate was steady at 11.3% in July.

This followed 13 months in a row of a rising rate and meant that the ratio of unemployed to the workforce was 4 percentage points above a record low rate in March 2008.

OECD, which provides analysis and policy guidance for 34 leading countries, noted that unemployment rates continued to vary widely in July.

The highest level was 25.1% in Spain, an increase of 0.2% from the June level, followed by a steady rate of 15.7% in Portugal, and 14.9% in Ireland where it had edged up 0.1 points.

But the rates in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Luxembourg, Mexico and the Netherlands, were less than 5.5%.

On the job problems of the young, the OECD said: "Young people continue to bear the brunt of the current jobs crisis, with 16.1% unemployed in July 2012, down 0.1 percentage point, in the OECD area and 22.6%, up 0.1 percentage point, in the euro area."

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