Western industrial nations face sharp rise in jobless

Unemployment in Western industrial countries and Japan is likely to rise sharply over the next 18 months, from around 23 million now to 25.5 million, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecast. In its twice-yearly economic outlook, the OECD said its 24 member states could expect a weak recovery from the current recession to start in the first six months of 1981 and to reach an annual growth rate of perhaps 3 percent in the first half of 1982. OECD officials said there was much uncertainty about the chances of even this modest improvement, which would depend on business confidence being maintained and oil prices keeping in line with the prices of manufactured goods from the OECD area.

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