Unemployment rates by country during COVID-19

In a previous post, we mapped unemployment rates for U.S. states during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we compare the unemployment rates of seven high-income countries. The graph shows monthly, seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Japan, Germany, U.K., U.S., Canada, France, and Italy. These rates are harmonized—that is, the same definition of unemployment is used for all these countries. U.S. unemployment spiked from 3.5% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April. (It spiked similarly in Canada, from 5.6% to 13%.) But unemployment did not rise significantly in other countries. What explains this difference? Countries … (full story)

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