How US unemployment rate compares to other nations

The U.S. unemployment rate is still high, at 7.6 percent. But by international standards, it’s not so bad.

Troubled European countries are saddled with much worse rates. Italy and France have double-digit unemployment, while Spain has an astounding 26.8 percent jobless rate. And theirs have risen, while rates in the U.S. and other countries have fallen.

At the same time, many countries are in better shape than the United States. Japan, China and Brazil all have lower unemployment. Germany’s rate is also lower and has declined a bit in the past year.

Great Britain’s unemployment is nearly the same as the United States’ and has fallen almost as much.

Below are the most recently reported unemployment rates for the United States, European Union, and 10 other major countries.

Country Latest Unemployment Rate 12 months ago
European Union 11 % (April) 10.3 %
United States 7.6 % (May) 8.2 %
China 4.1 % (March) 4.1 %
Japan 4.1 % (April) 4.5 %
Germany 5.4 % (April) 5.5 %
France 11.0 % (April) 10.1 %
Brazil 5.7 % (April) 5.8 %
U.K. 7.7 % (February) 8.2 %
Italy 12.0 % (April) 10.6 %
Canada 7.2 % (April) 7.3 %
Australia 5.5 % (April) 5.0 %
Spain 26.8 % (April) 24.4 %
Sources: Labor Department, IMF, OECD

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