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2011 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2011 Issue 1

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2011 Issue 1

The OECD Economic Outlook is the OECD’s twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years.  Prepared by the OECD Economics Department, the Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices and current balances based on a review of each member country and of the induced effect on each of them on international developments.

Coverage is provided for all OECD member countries as well as for selected non-member countries. Each issue includes a general assessment, chapters summarising developments and providing projections for each individual country, three to five chapters on topics of current interest, and an extensive statistical annex. Subscribers to the print edition also have access to an online edition, published on the internet six to eight weeks prior to the release of the print edition. In addition to the usual macroeconomic and country assessments and statistical annex with projection data, this issue of the OECD Economic Outlook also includes special chapters on the persistence of high unemployment and drivers and vulnerabilities associated with international capital flows.

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Persistence of High Unemployment

What Risks? What Policies?

Nearly two years after production began to recover from the worst recession to have hit OECD countries since the 1930s, the labour market situation remains a major preoccupation. At the end of 2010, the average OECD unemployment rate was still close to the historical peak reached during the crisis. In 12 OECD countries it remained two percentage points or more above the pre-crisis level, and even where the rise in joblessness was less severe, the recovery has been generally too weak so far to allow for a significant fall in unemployment (Figure 5.1). A main concern in countries most severely hit is that persistently high levels of unemployment – and a rising share of unemployed workers facing long spells without a job – will eventually result in widespread deterioration of human capital, discouragement and labour market withdrawal. The risk is strongest for youth and less skilled workers who have been disproportionately affected by the rise in unemployment.

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