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Labor Markets Mixed Across Advanced Economies

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SOURCE The Conference Board

Steady Improvement Builds in U.S., Uncertainty Continues in Europe

NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Labor markets were mixed across the advanced economies, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program for June 2014.

Unemployment rates in June fell in three of the nine countries compared and rose in five. Italy saw the largest decline of 0.3 points-though, at 12.5 percent, Italian joblessness remains near an all-time high. Unemployment fell 0.2 points in the United States (to 6.1 percent) and the Netherlands (to 6.8 percent). By contrast, joblessness rose 0.2 points in both Japan and Sweden, to 3.3 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. Unemployment in Germany was unchanged at 5.1 percent, lowest by far among the European countries.

"Despite mixed unemployment trends seen across European economies in June, joblessness in the European Union as a whole has been on a downward trend over the last year," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "Italy's apparent return to recession in the second quarter of 2014, however, comes after eleven consecutive quarters of rising unemployment, highlighting the country's inability to gain a foothold in the recovery process."

Employment in June rose in three countries, declined in three, and was unchanged in three. Employment indexes in the U.S., Australia, and Italy each rose by 0.2 points. Standing at 100.1, the U.S. employment index now exceeds the level of 2007 (= 100) for the first time since the recession. France saw the sharpest drop in employment-down 0.5 points to 101.3.

About Adjusted Employment Data and International Labor Comparisons (ILC)

Governments vary in the methods and definitions used to calculate labor force statistics. To facilitate comparison across countries, The Conference Board adjusts unemployment rates and employment indexes to match U.S. concepts. A monthly report compiles adjusted data for ten countries, alongside unadjusted unemployment rates from ten additional economies in Europe. All data is seasonally adjusted; employment indexes are benchmarked to January 2007 (= 100). 

The data is published as part of The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.

For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:

www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram

For the associated report, tables, and technical notes, see:

www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram/laborforcemonthly

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.  www.conference-board.org.

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NOTE: Beginning October 1, The Conference Board will no longer issue monthly International Labor Comparisons (ILC) reports on consumer prices and employment. This step will allow The Conference Board to dedicate more resources to continuing and strengthening the annual ILC reports on labor compensation, productivity and competitiveness. The underlying data tables on monthly consumer prices and employment will continue to be published on The Conference Board website through December 2014 (see schedule through December). Beginning January 1, 2015, related data series will be available via the Business Cycle Indicators program on a subscription basis. Historical monthly and annual datasets will remain publicly available on The Conference Board website.

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