% in Q3 2023
% Mean Rate (2005-2023)
% Record Low
% Record High
53
59
64
69
73
76
78
84

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Employment rate in OECD countries, Q3 2023

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)OECD
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Strong signals from OECD labour markets: Employment rates hit or were near record highs in 9 of the 38 OECD countries in Q3 2023. In the map I have included the Q3 rate alongside the record high and mean quarterly rates since 2005 (when OECD series start). The data shows that most countries are seeing employment rates well above their historical averages. The average employment rate across the OECD in Q3 matched the previous high at 70.1% from Q2 2023, meaning that 7 out of 10 people aged 15 to 64 were employed.



When paired with the latest unemployment figures showing a record low of 4.8% (OECD-average), it's clear that many OECD labor markets are operating at high steam. Still, employment/unemployment are quantitative measures capturing only part of labour market performance. It is worth noting that the OECD Employment Outlook published last year warned that we are seeing “fall in real wages in almost all industries and OECD countries”, adding that “[C]ompany profits have risen more than labour costs in many countries and sectors, suggesting that the cost-of-living crisis has not been equally shared by everyone.”

 

Sources:

OECD Labour Market Situation, January 2024

Quarterly employment rates downloaded from OECD Data Explorer

OECD Employment Outlook 2023