BUSINESS

OECD jobless rate steady at 7.6 pct

The unemployment rate in advanced countries was steady at 7.6 percent in January, with 46.2 million people looking for work nearly six years after the financial crisis began, OECD data showed on Thursday.

The unemployment rate in the 18-member eurozone was also steady, but at a far higher level of 12.0 percent, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

The OECD, a policy forum for advanced democracies, said that the number of people looking for work among its 34 member countries was now 11.5 million higher than in July 2008.

But, against a background of a fragile economic recovery, it said that since a high point in April 2010, the number of people unemployed had fallen by 3.8 million.

The rate in the United States in January fell by 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 percent, while in Japan it was steady at 3.7 percent.

Youth unemployment remains a chronic problem in several eurozone countries.

In Greece, the last figures available were for November showing the rate among young people to be 59 percent, in Spain in January it was 54.6 percent, in Italy 42.4 percent, Portugal 34.7 percent and in the Slovak Republic 31.3 percent. [AFP]

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