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Unemployment rates - 01/2001


In November, the Australian unemployment rate jumped 0.3% to 6.6% and showed its third straight monthly job loss. Although Brazil's unemployment rate in October edged up by 0.1% to 6.8%, there is little concern because it's been dropping for most of the year. The Canadian unemployment rate in November was unchanged at 6.9%, but did show a gain of about 58,000 jobs because its labour force is expanding. France's unemployment levels are at the lowest levels in nine years; in October, it was 9.4% and hiring difficulties are expected to continue. In Germany, the unemployment rate in November was unchanged at 8.9%, 16.3% in the former communist East and 7.2% in West Germany. Germany's third quarter GDP slowed to 0.6% from the previous quarter and is up 2.8% year-to-year expectations are that GDP for 2000 will be about 3%.

The unemployment rate was unchanged in Japan in October at 4.7%, down from its record 4.9% in March 2000; although the industrial sector continues to deteriorate, the jobs-to-applicants ratio is showing signs of improvement. In the United States, unemployment was essentially unchanged in November, edging up 0.1% to 4.0%; it has remained within 0.1 percentage point since the fall of 1999. The private sector added 148,000 jobs in November, a bit better than it has been doing, but job growth continues to show signs of slowing. The monthly average job gain for 1999 was 202,000; it was 186,000 for the first six months of 2000 and 122,000 for the past five months.