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Comparing U.S. and Euro Area Unemployment Rates

Thomas Klitgaard and Richard Peck

No 20140205, Liberty Street Economics from Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Abstract: Euro area growth has been stalled since 2010, mired in the sovereign debt crisis, while the United States has managed a slow but steady recovery following the Great Recession. Euro area and U.S. labor markets reflect these differing growth paths. While unemployment rates in the euro area and the United States were both around 10 percent in 2010, the unemployment rate in the euro area has since increased to 12.0 percent, and the U.S. rate has fallen to 6.7 percent. However, the outperformance of the U.S. labor market as measured by unemployment rates is overstated. Employment relative to the population has declined in the euro area, but the divergence of this measure from that of the United States is more modest than suggested by unemployment rates. The difference is that, unlike in the United States, the share of women in the euro area labor force is increasing, and that development accounts for roughly half of the current gap between unemployment rates in the two economies.

Keywords: United; States; euro; area; unemployment; rates; employment; labor; force; participation; female (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F00 J00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-02-05
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