A small number of regions drives employment creation at the national level. On average, 36% of overall employment creation in OECD countries between 1999 and 2009 was accounted for by just 10% of regions. The regional contribution to national employment creation was particularly concentrated in certain countries. In Sweden, the United States and Greece (among OECD countries) and South Africa, more than 60% of employment growth was spurred by 10% of regions (Figure 4.1).
The last two years have seen an increase in the regional concentration of employment creation in 20 of the 31 countries, resulting in higher differences in employment among regions (Figure 4.1).
The pattern was even more pronounced in decreases in employment. On average, 92% of job losses in OECD countries between 1999 and 2009 were concentrated in only 10% of regions. In Spain, Finland and Italy all the net job losses occurred in 10% of regions. In the past two years, net job losses have been experienced by a larger number of regions (Figure 4.2).
Differences in employment growth within countries are larger than across countries. During 1999-2009, international differences in annual employment growth rates across OECD countries were as large as 2.9 percentage points, ranging from -0.4% in Turkey to 2.5% in Spain.
Over the same period, differences in regional employment growth rates across regions were above three percentage points in almost half of the countries. The widest differences in regional employment growth rates are found in Sweden, Spain, the Russian Federation and Canada (Figure 4.3).
In the 24 countries considered, 44% of predominantly rural regions displayed an employment rate below the OECD average, while the corresponding figures are 52% and 62% respectively in predominantly urban and intermediate regions. However, job creation in predominantly rural regions was on average lower than in predominantly urban and intermediate regions between 1999 and 2009 (Figure 4.4).
Employed persons are all persons who during the reference week worked at least one hour for pay or profit, or were temporarily absent from such work. Family workers are included.
The employment rate is defined as the ratio between total employment (place of residence) and population in the class age 15-64.
OECD Regional Database: http://dotstat/wbos/.
See Annex B for data, source and country-related metadata.
Reference years and territorial level
Australia, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey TL2.
Russian Federation and South Africa TL2 regions.
Canada Non Official Grids.
4.1-4.4: Denmark and Turkey are excluded for lack of data on comparable years. Available years: Czech Republic 2003-09; Finland and Norway 1999-2008; Mexico 2000-09; Switzerland 2001-09.
4.1: Only countries with average positive growth of employment over 1999-2009 are included. Hungary and Japan are excluded.
4.2: Only countries with regions displaying average net employment decline are included. Chile and Estonia no employment decline between 1999-2007.
Information on data for Israel: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932315602.