The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – increased by 0.1 percentage point in the third quarter of 2018, to 68.4%. Across the OECD area, 570 million people were employed in the third quarter of 2018.
In the euro area, the employment rate continued to rise in the third quarter of 2018 (by 0.2 percentage point) to 67.4%, with increases of 0.5 percentage point or more in Belgium, Latvia, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, and Lithuania. A decline was only recorded in Italy (by 0.2 percentage point, to 58.6%, after the 0.6 percentage point gain in the previous quarter).
Outside the euro area, the employment rate increased (by up to 0.3 percentage point) in Canada, Japan, Turkey and the United States. In Mexico, the employment rate was stable, while it declined in Denmark and the United Kingdom (by 0.2 percentage point) and Korea (by 0.1 percentage point). In Chile, the employment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage point.
The OECD area employment rate for women increased by 0.2 percentage point, to 61.0% in the third quarter of 2018, while that for men was stable at 76.0%. As a consequence, the gap between these two rates fell to 15.0 percentage points, the smallest gap observed since data for both series are available for the OECD area (the first quarter of 2005). Since 2005, for the OECD area as a whole, the cumulative decline in the gender gap in employment is 4.1 percentage points, with large falls in Japan (by 8.1 percentage points) and the euro area (by 5.8 percentage points).