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OECD Economic Survey of the United States: Key Research Findings

image of OECD Economic Survey of the United States: Key Research Findings

This volume collects four studies that were prepared as background research to the 2018 OECD Economic Survey of the United States. Using micro-data survey responses, regional and sectorial data, these studies seek to provide insights into how employment responds to labour market disruption and the drivers of household financial vulnerability in the United States. This volume represents a collaborative effort by a team of OECD and academic researchers.

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Addressing labour-market disruptions from trade and automation

The US labour market has been exposed to repeated disruptions in the past two decades, and a wave of change stemming from the rise of automation is looming large. Although unemployment is at an historical low, many displaced workers remain inactive and wages have been stagnant for occupation affected by these disruptions. The upcoming automation of tasks with robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning will bring many benefits, but it will also lead to employment losses and wage pressures for workers whose tasks will be automated. While the US labour market had traditionally the capacity to absorb these shocks, labour market fluidity has slowed in the past two decades, hindering the reallocation of labour and contributing to high unemployment and weak participation, with some locations particularly affected by these social troubles. Lessons from these past trends are helpful to formulate future policies helping improving opportunities for displaced workers.

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