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Unemployment Rates Remain Stable in Europe

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SOURCE The Conference Board

But Absence of Sustained Job Growth Continues to Challenge Labor Market Recovery

NEW YORK, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In April, the unemployment rate remained stable in all European economies compared except the Netherlands, where it declined slightly from 7.3 to 7.2 percent, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program.  

In the U.S., the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 to 6.3 percent, the largest monthly decline since December 2010.

"In contrast to the rapid drop in U.S. unemployment, joblessness in the Euro Area has begun to edge slowly downward in recent months, falling to its lowest level (11.7 percent) since November 2012," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "However, the absence of sustained job growth outside of Germany poses a challenge for continued labor market recovery in the region."

In Germany, the unemployment rate has gradually and steadily inched down from 8.0 percent in August 2009 to 5.2 percent in April 2014.

Employment in April increased in the Netherlands and Australia, and remained stable in the U.S. and Germany. Despite steady unemployment rates in France (9.8 percent) and Japan (3.2 percent), employment experienced the largest declines in these countries. Similarly in the U.S., a sharp decline in April unemployment did not translate into increased job opportunities, emphasizing the role of discouraged workers and retiring baby boomers in bringing the U.S. unemployment rate down. April employment also declined in Sweden, Canada and Italy.  

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:

For the associated report, tables, and technical notes:

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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