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% from 10.5% in November - a decrease of the same size as in Spain. That country's jobless rate was, at 18.4%, still the second highest in the OECD in December, after Greece, with 23% in October, the last month for which data were available.

In the euro zone as a whole, unemployment was down one tenth of a point to 9.6%, its lowest level since May 2009.

Youth unemployment (for ages 15 to 24) averaged 12.8% across the OECD for a second month. In Portugal, it fell to 26.4% in December from 27.2% in November, while in Spain it stood at 42.9% and in Italy 40.1%.

In 2016 average unemployment in the OECD was 6.3%, down from 6.8% in 2015. In the euro zone it was 10.0%, down from 10.9% and in Portugal 11.2%, down from 12.7%.