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OECD Employment Outlook 2010

Moving beyond the Jobs Crisis

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2010

The OECD Employment Outlook 2010 is OECD’s annual report on employment and labour markets in the OECD area and beyond.  Opening with an editorial which analyses the immediate policy challenges and provides advice for OECD governments, and a first chapter that sets out the facts and figures related to recent employment developments and sets them in the broader economic context,  this volume goes on to provide analysis in three specific policy areas: the jobs impact and policy response in emerging economies, institutional and policy determinants of labour market flows, and the quality of part-time work. The volume closes with a statistical annex which provides the latest available employment data.  This book includes StatLinks, URLs under each graph and table linking to spreadsheets showing the underlying data.

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How Good is Part-Time Work?

Part-time work is becoming more important in OECD countries, particularly as some groups with traditionally low labour force participation – such as mothers, youth and older workers – take up work in greater numbers. Despite recent regulatory changes to improve the quality of part-time jobs, workers holding these jobs still face a penalty compared with full-time workers in terms of pay, job security, training and promotion, have higher risk of poverty and are less likely to have access to unemployment benefits or re-employment assistance if they become unemployed. However, in terms of job satisfaction, these disadvantages appear to be offset by more family-friendly working-time arrangements and better health and safety. Overall, part-time work promotes higher labour force participation and can be a viable alternative to inactivity for many, if appropriate incentives are in place. In countries with a high share of part-time employment, few part-timers move into full-time work and many stay in part-time jobs for long periods. This may be by choice, but can also have adverse long-term impacts for individuals, and for aggregate labour supply in ageing OECD societies. It is important to remove barriers to moving into full-time work. Notably, tax and benefit systems often reduce the gain from working more hours and can hinder transitions between parttime and full-time work.

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