Unemployment set to remain high in OECD countries through 2014

August 6, 2013

Unemployment in OECD countries will remain high through 2014, with young people and the low-skilled hit hardest, according to a new OECD report. The employment outlook 2013 says that jobless rates will fall only slightly over the next 18 months, from 8.0% in May 2013 to 7.8% at the end of 2014, leaving around 48 million people out of work in the 34 OECD countries.

The report reveals big, widening disparities between countries. Unemployment in the US is projected to fall from 7.6% in May 2013 to below 7% by the end of 2014. In Germany, the unemployment rate will decline from 5.3% to under 5%. But in the rest of Europe, joblessness will remain flat or even rise in many countries. By end 2014, unemployment is expected to be just over 11% in France, around 12.5% in Italy, and close to 28% in Spain and Greece.

“The social scars of the crisis are far from being healed,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the launch of the report in Paris. “Many of our countries continue to struggle with high and persistent unemployment, particularly among youth. Therefore, the recent commitment by OECD Ministers to do more to help youth, as set out in the OECD Action Plan for Youth, is an essential tool in our fight against the scourge of joblessness.