Comparing U.S. Unemployment to Nations Around the World
February 3, 2012    Disclosures    POSTED IN  Economy

Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that, “total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent” in the United States. Since August the unemployment rate has dropped by 0.8%. While 8.3% is still high, the rate is headed in the right direction as it has steadily declined over the past year.

The last recession was experienced globally and increased the ranks of the unemployed in numerous countries. To put the United States jobless rate into perspective, the chart below depicts the unemployment rate for 12 other nations. As the global business cycle peaked in the middle of 2007 the rate was below 9% in all 13 countries.

Since October 2009 when the U.S. rate topped out at 10.0%, the economic recovery has been uneven around the globe. The labor market has improved in Canada at close to the same pace as it has in the U.S. In Germany the unemployment rate has been coming down rapidly since 2009. In South Korea, Japan and Australia, the unemployment rate did not increase too much to begin with and has remained subdued. The notable outliers include Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. The labor markets in all four nations continue to suffer and the ranks of the unemployed continues to swell.

Source: BLS


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