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2004 OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2004

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2004

This 2004 OECD Economic Survey of Australia presents a comprehensive overview of the Australian economy. It finds thanks to widespread and deep reforms in the 80s and 90s, economic performance for the past 13 years has been good, and the short-term outlook is for brisk, low-inflationary growth. However over the longer term, it faces problems related to the ageing population and low labour force participation and productivity. To address these problems, OECD carefully examines challenges for fiscal policy, product market competition, and the labour market, particularly unemployment and labour force participation, and makes a series of recommendations.

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Policies to Lower Unemployment and Raise Labour Force Participation

Supported by strong domestic demand, the Australian labour market has resisted several adverse shocks, such as the drought and the weak global environment during much of the 2001 to 2003 period. The growing importance of services has spurred part-time employment, which has grown almost four times as fast as full-time employment in the past 25 years.1 Nevertheless, over 70 per cent of...

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