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The OECD unemployment rate remained stable at 5.1% in December 2019. Across the OECD area, 32.6 million people were unemployed, around the level before the financial crisis. In the euro area, the unemployment rate declined to 7.4% in December (from 7.5% in November), the same level as in April 2008, with declines of 0.3 percentage point

in Lithuania (to 6.1%) and the Netherlands (to 3.2%), and increases of 0.2 percentage point or more in Latvia (to 6.7%) and Portugal (to 6.9%).

Outside Europe, the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point in Israel (to 3.4%) and by 0.3 percentage point in Canada (to 5.6%) and Mexico (to 3.2%), while it increased by 0.2 percentage point in Korea (to 3.8%). The unemployment rate was stable in Japan (at 2.2%) and the United States (at 3.5%). More recent data for January 2020 show that the unemployment rate declined further in Canada (by 0.1 percentage point, to 5.5%), while it increased by 0.1 percentage point in theUnited States (to 3.6%).

Between December 2018 and December 2019, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point across the OECD. Over the same period, the OECDunemployment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24) decreased by 0.4 percentage point to 10.8% (the lowest level since 2005, the first year when youthunemployment rate data are available for the OECD area as whole). The youth unemployment rate remained above 25% in Greece (in October 2019), Italy andSpain (in spite of year-on-year falls of 3.0 percentage points or more in these three countries) as well as in Turkey, where the youth unemployment rate in October was 3.0 percentage points higher than one year before. The youth unemployment rate also recorded year-on-year increases of 2.0 percentage points or more inIceland, Hungary (between November 2018 and November 2019), Sweden, Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic.