Global employment rates took a dip in Q2 2020: OECD

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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OECD Meeting
Ministerial and Forum on Migration and Integration at OECD Headquarters, Paris, France on 17 January 2020

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has updated that the employment rate in OECD regions fell by 4 percent to reach 64.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020. The drop was the lowest in the region since the fourth quarter of 2010. 

In a recent press release, the international organization stated that 560 million people were in employment in the second quarter of 2020 which was 34 million lesser than people who were employed in the previous quarter (Q1 2020).

OECD observed that “Employment rates fell across all population groups. While male and female employment rates both fell by around 4.0 percentage points (to 72.0 percent and 57.3 percent respectively), the youth employment rate dropped more sharply (down 5.6 percentage points, to 36.3 percent) than for people aged 25-54 (down 4.0 percentage points, to 74.7 percent) and for those aged 55- 64 (down 2.8 percentage points, to 59.3 percent).”

The US and Canada

Data shared by OECD shows that employment rates in Canada and the US dropped by 8.5 percentage points (to 64.7 percent) and 8.9 percentage points (to 62.5 percent) respectively in Q2 2020.

A more recent data set for the third quarter of 2020 which includes the return of many furloughed workers as economies gradually opening-up show employment rates increasing in Canada (up 5.7 percentage points, to 70.4 percent) and the US (up 3.8 percentage points, to 66.3 percent), but still remaining 2.8 and 5.1 percentage points below the level of the first quarter of 2020.

Euro Nations

OECD data exhibited that the employment rate in the euro region decreased by 1.9 percentage points, to 66.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020, with decreases of 3.0 percentage points or more in Estonia, Ireland and Spain.

Better circumstances in other regions 

The data revealed that nations categorized apart from the US, Canada and Euro zones had a better outlook as the employment rate only fell by 1.0 percentage point in Japan (to 77.0 percent), by 0.2 percentage point in the United Kingdom (to 75.4 percent).

Australia, Chile, Colombia, Iceland and Turkey stood out of the pack with 3.0 percentage points decrease in employment rates.

Appreciating the efforts taken by its fellow member UAE in tackling the pandemic, OECD’s  Global Relations Director Andreas Schaal stated that “The COVID-19 crisis has bluntly reminded us that, as our countries form part of a global interconnected community, international cooperation has never been so important. The UAE has proven to be an important and innovative partner, as we collectively strive to develop the most effective policies to address such an unprecedented crisis. Looking forward, we are convinced that the United Arab Emirates can play an important role in converting this crisis into an opportunity for the MENA region, and we welcome working with the UAE to make this possible.”