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OECD Employment Outlook 2006

Boosting Jobs and Incomes

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2006

As ageing populations put more downward pressure on economic growth in the coming decades, it is essential that OECD countries improve labour market performance.  This edition of OECD's annual report on labour markets brings the reader not only detailed information on recent labour market developments, but also in-depth analysis of the effects of various policy measures and prospects through 2007.  The analysis includes coverage of the impact of welfare systems; labour market programmes; wage-setting and taxes; product market regulations; and policies targeting specific groups including women, youth, immigrants, and prime-age workers.  It examines policy interactions and complementarities and re-assesses OECD's 1994 Jobs Strategy in the light of recent developments.  This book includes StatLinks, URLs which link statistical tables and graphs to Excel spreadsheets on the internet.

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Understanding Policy Interactions and Complementarities, and their Implication for Reform Strategies

Can different combinations of policies and institutions deliver similarly high employment rates? Since there are important interactions between macro economic, labour and product market policies, countries can take advantage of synergies and compensating mechanisms in assembling policy packages and building political support for reform. Nonetheless, only a few packages have been identified which can achieve high employment while also assuring fiscal sustainability and resilience in the face of adverse economic shocks. These successful policy packages combine stability-oriented macro economic policy and competitive products markets with agood overall incentive structure in the labour market. Two broad reform strategies for structuring labour market incentives can be identified in the OECD countries which have achieved high employment rates. These strategies differ in their implications for the level of public spending (and taxes) and the degree of risk and inequality characterising labour market – factors that play a key role vis-à-vis the political acceptability of structural reforms.

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