OECD unemployment fell slightly in October reaching 5.7%, 0.5% above the pre-pandemic rate recorded in February 2020.
In comparison to the OECD total the United States unemployment over 2021 showed greater volatility due to temporarily laid-off workers being registered as unemployed, unlike in other OECD countries.
The US unemployment data shows a spike up to almost 15% unemployment driven by almost 12% of the workforce being temporarily laid-off in March and April 2020. These temporarily laid off workers were then relatively rapidly rehired, falling to approximately 2% in November 2020.
Meanwhile the number of unemployed not on temporary lay-off in the United States was just under 4% in November 2021 compared to approximately 3% in February 2020.
The lowest unemployment rates in October 2021 were in in the Czech Republic with 2.6%, Japan with 2.7%, and the Netherlands with 2.9%. The highest unemployment rates were Spain with 14.5%, Colombia with 13· and Greece with 12.9%.