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Those in unemployment are people aged 15 and over who were without work during the reference week, available for work and actively seeking work during the previous four weeks including the reference week. Without work refers to those not in paid employment or self-employment during the reference week. Available for work refers to those who were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference week or four weeks after the reference week in the case of EU countries. Seeking work refers those who took specific steps to actively seek paid employment or self-employment during a specified recent period operationalised as previous four weeks including the survey reference week.

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Keywords:  unemployment

Unemployment rate You or your institution have access to this content


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Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force, where the latter consists of the unemployed plus those in paid or self-employment. Unemployed people are those who report that they are without work, that they are available for work and that they have taken active steps to find work in the last four weeks. When unemployment is high, some people become discouraged and stop looking for work; they are then excluded from the labour force. This implies that the unemployment rate may fall, or stop rising, even though there has been no underlying improvement in the labour market.

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Keywords:  unemployment, unemployment rate
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