OECD: Crisis cost rich countries 17 million jobs

July 8, 2010 7:38:40 AM PDT
An international watchdog says unemployment in rich countries may have peaked - but they must create 17 million jobs if they want to return to pre-crisis employment levels.

The U.S. accounts for more than half of the jobs deficit - with 10 million missing jobs.

In Europe, Ireland needs to create one job for every five that exist today - 320,000 positions - to reach 2007 levels and Spain has lost 2.5 million jobs, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD said in a report released Wednesday that there are 47 million unemployed in its 31 member countries - the world's most developed economies.

The report says including those who have given up looking for work or who are underemployed, the figure could be as high as 80 million.