The OECD area employment rate, which is the percentage share of the working-age population in employment, rose to 68.0% in the third quarter of 2021, from 67.4% in the second quarter. The rise in the employment rate in the OECD area has been accompanied by an increase in the participation rate – the share of the working-age population that is either employed or unemployed – to 72.5%, from 72 .2% in the second quarter.
The OECD area employment rate increased at about the same pace for women (to 60.8%, from 60.2% in the second quarter) and men (to 75.3%, from 74.7 %), as well as among young people aged 15 to 24 (at 41.6%, from 40.9%), those aged 25-54 (at 77.9%, from 77.3%) and those aged 55-64 years (to 61.7%, from 61.1%).
Increases in the employment rate were reported in 35 of the 37 OECD countries for which data are available, with a decline recorded in Australia (to 74.8%, from 75.4% in the second quarter) and a stable employment rate in Finland (72.7% in both the second and third quarters).
The employment rate increased by 0.7 percentage point, to 68.4%, in the euro area as a whole. It increased by 1.4 percentage points in Canada (to 73.8%), by 0.8 percentage points in the United States (to 69.8%, still 1.9 percentage points below the rate of before the pandemic), by 0.4 percentage point in Korea (to 66.8%) and Mexico (to 61.5%), by 0.3 percentage point in the United Kingdom (to 75.4% ) and 0.2 percentage point in Japan (to 77.9%). More recent data for the fourth quarter of 2021 shows that employment rates have increased further in the United States (to 70.5%) and Canada (to 74.8%).
In the third quarter, the strongest increases in the employment rate were recorded in Chile (to 59.2%, against 57.3%), Colombia (to 61.5%, against 59.6%), Costa Rica (at 58.3%, against 55.6%) and Ireland. (71.1% vs. 69.1%). However, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica are also the countries for which the difference with pre-pandemic rates (recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019) is the highest.
In the third quarter, employment rates were above pre-pandemic levels in Australia, France, Greece, Hungary, New Zealand and Portugal.