Latest figures show that Portugal and Spain, were in December, the two members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development that saw the largest drop in unemployment, with the OECD average jobless rate unchanged at 6.2 percent.
There were 38.5 million unemployed in OECD member states in December, up 5.9 million from before the global economic crisis hit, in April 2008.
Of those, 520,000 were in Portugal, where the jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent from 10.5 percent in November - a decrease of the same size as Spain. That country’s jobless rate was, at 18.4 percent, still the second highest in the OECD in December, after Greece, with 23 percent in October, the last month for which data was available.
In the EuroZone as a whole, unemployment was down one- tenth of a point to 9.6 percent, its lowest level since May 2009.
Youth unemployment (for ages 15 to 24) averaged 12.8 percent across the OECD for a second month. In Portugal, it fell to 26.4 percent in December from 27.2 percent in November, while in Spain it stood at 42.9 percent and in Italy 40.1 percent.
In 2016 average unemployment in the OECD was 6.3 percent, down from 6.8 percent in 2015. In the EuroZone it was 10.0 percent, down from 10.9 percent and in Portugal 11.2 percent, down from 12.7 percent.