By Daniel Hunter

The OECD area employment rate - defined as the share of people of working-age who are employed - was 65.1% in the second quarter of 2013, 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previous quarter.

This was still 1.4 percentage points below the level recorded in the second quarter of 2008, the quarter preceding the start of the global financial crisis.

In the euro area, the employment rate fell in the second quarter of 2013 (by 0.1 percentage point to 63.4%) compared with the previous quarter. This masks divergent patterns across the three major euro-area economies: the employment rate fell in Italy (by 0.5 percentage point to 55.5%); it rose in Germany (up 0.2 percentage point to 73.3%); and was stable in France (at 64.0%).

Among other major seven countries, the employment rate increased in Japan (up 0.3 percentage point to 71.5%), the United Kingdom (up 0.1 percentage points to 70.5%) and Canada (up 0.1 percentage points to 72.6%). It was stable in the United States (at 67.3%).

Among other OECD countries, compared with the first quarter of 2013, the employment rate in the second quarter fell most in Greece (by 0.5 percentage point), Slovenia (by 0.4 percentage point), the Netherlands (by 0.3 percentage point) and Turkey (by 0.3 percentage point). On the other hand, the employment rate showed a significant increase in Hungary (up 0.8 percentage point), Iceland (up 0.8 percentage point) and the Czech Republic (up 0.5 percentage point). It also increased in Portugal (up 0.3 percentage point) after 9 consecutive quarters of decrease.

The OECD employment rate increased for all population groups in the second quarter of 2013. However, the employment rate for youth was still 0.2 percentage point lower than one year ago, while it was 0.8 percentage points higher for older workers and unchanged for prime age workers.

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