Connecting People with Jobs

English
ISSN: 
2616-4140 (online)
ISSN: 
2616-4132 (print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/26164140
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Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. However, weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. How can under-represented groups in the labour market be given better work incentives and decent work opportunities and how can their employability be improved? Each country report in the series Connecting People with Jobs provides an analysis and assessment of what are the best policies for fostering more inclusive labour markets that help all groups in society to move into productive and rewarding jobs.

 
Connecting People with Jobs: Key Issues for Raising Labour Market Participation in Australia

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English
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    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/8117041e.pdf
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Author(s):
OECD
09 Mar 2017
Pages:
116
ISBN:
9789264269637 (PDF) ;9789264269620(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264269637-en

Hide / Show Abstract

Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. Weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. This report on Australia is the third country study published in a series of reports looking into strategies to encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged. Labour market and activation policies are well developed in Australia. However, the gap in employment rates is still considerable for some groups of the population, including women with young children, disadvantaged youth, people with disability, people with mental health problems and the indigenous population. This report discusses the size of the gap and the - often multiple - barriers underlying low labour market participation of these groups, and it provides a non-exhaustive number of good practice policies and measures from other OECD countries which could guide Australia's policy development in the coming years.

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  • Foreword

    Giving people better opportunities to participate in the labour market improves well-being and strengthens economic growth. Better labour market and activation policies help countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising potential labour resources more fully. Many OECD countries achieved record employment levels prior to the global financial crisis, but in all countries employment rates differ markedly across population groups. High unemployment and the weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflect a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. In many countries the crisis has accentuated long-standing structural problems that are causing these disadvantages. It is a major challenge for policy makers in the coming years to address these problems and make OECD labour markets and, thus, OECD economies more inclusive.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Australia’s economy and labour market has weathered the difficult economic circumstances of the past decade relatively well and employment rates of the population aged 15-64 years are now almost back at their 2008 peak of 73%. This is significantly higher a rate than the OECD average, though lower than in some of the vanguard countries. Importantly, Australia has quite high labour force participation and employment rates for some population groups, but not all. To increase overall participation and employment rates, it will be critical for Australia to better mobilise the unused labour resources of these groups. This is also critical in view of rapid population ageing in the coming decades.

  • The unmet activation potential of Australia's labour market

    Australia’s labour market has performed well over the past 15 years and its labour force participation rate continuously increased over this period and ranks well above the OECD average. While Australia was impacted less by the global financial crisis than most other OECD countries, the commodity price bust led to a deterioration of the labour market and it only started to recover as of 2015. Not all of Australia’s states and territories and sub-regional levels have recovered to the same degree and retrenchments due to economic reason have again increased over the past years. Furthermore, the chapter identifies some unmet activation potential more generally in Australia’s labour market. Mobilising this potential in the future will bring Australia’s labour force participation closer to that seen in the OECD’s vanguard countries. Areas of untapped potential are especially prime-age women, mature age workers, people with disabilities and mental health conditions, as well as Indigenous Australians.

  • Multiple barriers to employment: The facets of joblessness in Australia

    Australia has a substantial group of out-of-work individuals that could benefit from targeted labour market activation policy interventions. These persistently unemployed or inactive individuals, as well as workers with very low work intensity, are potentially constrained from (fully) participating in the labour market by one or multiple employment barriers. Many of the individuals with no, or weak, labour-market attachment have low levels of employability because of lack of work experience or because of existing care responsibilities or health limitations, while others might lack motivation because of high levels of non-labour income or replacement benefits. Understanding the combination of employment barriers that individuals are facing is crucial for targeting and tailoring successful activation policies. This chapter identifies policy-relevant groups (or “clusters”) of individuals with similar combinations of different types of employment barriers.

  • Better mobilising Australia's underutilised labour resources

    This chapter builds on recent work of OECD’s Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, especially a number of labour market and social policy reviews, and proposes options for improving Australia’s current activation and labour market policies and for the development of new ones. While briefly describing the Australian situation, the chapter mainly provides examples of good practice from other OECD countries which could inform the policy process in Australia and help to increase labour market participation of underrepresented groups.

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