The unemployment landscape in the eurozone worsened slightly in May, diverging further from the overall rate of 8.0 percent in advanced countries, the OECD said on Tuesday.
The rate in OECD countries was 8.0 percent in May for the third month running but in the eurozone it edged up to 12.2 percent, the highest level for about 20 years, the OECD said.
Overall, 48.5 million people were unemployed in the 34 OECD countries in May, regular monthly and harmonised OECD data showed.
This meant that 100,000 people had swelled the total of unemployed in the month, and that 13.8 million people had joined the mass of unemployed people since July 2008 when the financial crisis began.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that the gap between the average OECD unemployment rate and the situation in the eurozone was widening, to 4.2 percentage points from 1.7 percentage points in July 2008.
The OECD highlighted the performance in other leading economies: in the United States the rate in May rose by 0.1 percentage points to 7.6 percent but in Canada it fell by the same amount to 7.1 percent.
The rate in Japan was stable at 4.1 percent.
However, the OECD said that it also had data for June for the United States and Canada which showed that the rate in both countries was stable.
The outlook for young people had improved slightly.
The OECD rate for youth in May fell by 0.1 percentage points from the April level to 16.3 percent.
This was one point below the high point reached in October 2009 but was 3.3 points above the level when the financial crisis began.
More than one young person in three who is able to work was unemployed in Italy, Portugal and the Slovak Republic, and more than two in three in Greece and Spain, the OECD said.