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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Unemployment rate - OECD countries
Graph Image for Unemployment rate - OECD countries

Source(s): OECD Labour Force Datasets (MEI)

Employment(a) to population(b) ratio - OECD countries
Graph Image for Employment(a) to population(b) ratio - OECD countries

Footnote(s): (a) Civilian employment. (b) Aged 15 years and over except where otherwise noted. (c) Aged 16 years and over.

Source(s): OECD Labour Force Statistics 1988-2008

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

In 2009, the global financial crisis had a significant impact on the economic circumstances of OECD countries. The OECD average unemployment rate was 8.3% in 2009, compared with 6.7% in 1999. Australia, Italy, France and New Zealand experienced a reduction in their annual unemployment rates between 1999 and 2009. Most of the remaining OECD countries experienced increases in their unemployment rates over the decade, with Ireland and the USA experiencing a doubling of their unemployment rates. In 2009, Australia's unemployment rate was 5.6% compared to 18.0% for Spain, 9.3% for the USA and 7.6% for the UK. Austria and Japan had lower unemployment rates than Australia of 4.8% and 5.1% respectively.

Australia's employment to population ratio increased from 58% in 1998 to 62% in 2008. Spain and Ireland experienced some of the largest increases in the proportion of the population who were working over the last 10 years (11% and 8% increase respectively). Italy's employment to population ratio remained low, at 42% in 1998, rising to 46% in 2008. Japan and the USA, whose employment to population ratio was high in 1998, both experienced declines over the last 10 years (of 3 and 1 percentage points, respectively), going against the OECD average, which showed an increase of about 0.5 of a percentage point.

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