The unemployment rate in member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was slightly down to 7.1% in October, the group said on Wednesday.

The figure was 7.3% in September.

Yet, the October figure remained about 2.0 percentage points above the level observed in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labor market, the global body noted.

The OECD area unemployment rate for youth — people aged 15 to 24 — fell to 14.4% from 14.7% in September, well below its peak of 19% in April.

“Some care is needed in interpreting recent falls in the rate, as this largely reflects the return of temporary laid-off workers in the US and Canada, where they are recorded as unemployed, whereas temporary lay-offs are typically recorded as employed in most other countries,” OECD warned.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate decreased marginally to 8.4% in October with decreases of 0.2 percentage point or more in France (to 8.6%), Latvia (to 8.0%), Luxembourg (to 6.5%) and Portugal (to 7.5%).

By contrast, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage point in Slovakia (to 7.0) and Slovenia (to 4.9%).

The US saw a drop by 1 percentage point to 6.9%, reflecting the decline in the number of people on temporary lay-off.

In Japan, the jobless rate remained at 3.1%.

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