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U.S. Unemployment Now As High as Europe

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Publication Date:

Publisher(s): Center for Economic and Policy Research

Author(s): John Schmitt; Hye Jin Rho; Shawn Fremstad

Topic: Labor (Employment and labor supply)

Keywords: Unemployment rate; Recession

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


From the early 1990s through the peak of the last business cycle, relatively low U.S. unemployment rates seemed to make the United States a model for the rest of the world’s economies. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other international organizations all praised the U.S. unemployment performance and urged the rest of the world’s rich countries to emulate the “flexibility” of the U.S. model. However, this report shows that in the current economic crisis, the U.S. unemployment rate ranks 4th to last among the major OECD countries.