Labour Market Situation, OECD - Updated: April 2023


OECD employment and labour force participation rates reach record highs in the fourth quarter of 2022


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13 Apr 2023 - The OECD employment and labour force participation rates increased to 69.6% and 73.3% in the fourth quarter of 2022. This marks new record highs for the series that began in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Almost half of OECD countries reported record highs for both indicators, including Canada, France, Germany, and Japan (Figure 1, Tables 1 and 2). 

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the employment rate returned to its record high of close to 70% in the euro area, and the European Union, its highest level since 2005. By contrast, it declined by more than 1.0 percentage point in Colombia and Lithuania.

In 2022, the number of men and women in employment increased across all age groups (Figure 2) and reached its record high for both prime-age (aged 25-54) and older workers (aged 55-64). Despite a recent increase, the number of young men and women in employment in 2022 remained below its 2007 peak.

The OECD employment rate edged up to a record high of 62.5% for women, while it was stable for the third consecutive month at its highest level of 76.7% for men. The OECD labour force participation rate also reached its highest level of 66% for women and remained stable for men at its pre-pandemic level of 80.6% (Figure 3).

In February 2023, the unemployment rate remained at its record low in the OECD (4.8%) and in the euro area (6.6%) (Figure 4 and Table 3). The unemployment rate was stable or decreased in more than 70% of OECD countries, but close to its lowest level in only seven countries, including Canada, France, and Germany (Figure 4 and Table 3). It remained stable in Canada at 5.0% in March 2023 for the fifth consecutive month, while it fell slightly to 3.5% in the United States.


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