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Labor markets mixed across advanced economies

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Labor markets mixed across advanced economies

Steady improvement builds in US, uncertainty continues in Europe

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 program for June 2014.

"Joblessness in the European Union as a whole has been on a downward trend over the last year."

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%, Italian joblessness remains near an all-time high. Unemployment fell 0.2 points in the United States (to 6.1%) and the Netherlands (to 6.8%). By contrast, joblessness rose 0.2 points in both Japan and Sweden, to 3.3% and 7.9%, respectively. Unemployment in Germany was unchanged at 5.1%, 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.

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