OECD Employment Outlook 2011

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2011

The OECD Employment Outlook is an annual publication that surveys labour market conditions in OECD countries and analyses issues of interest to researchers and policy makers. The 2011 issue highlights policy issues related to: the recent economic crisis and the adequacy of income support for the unemployed; social protection and labour markets in emerging economies; earnings volatility; and qualifications mismatch. In the wake of the global economic crisis, the question of how unemployment benefits and other income support schemes can best cushion income losses during a deep recession is examined. More generallly, the risk of large declines in earnings during recessions is analysed and structural labour market reforms are identified which can reduce earnings volatility over the business cycle.

The recent global crisis has also highlighted the importance of social protection schemes in emerging economies, and the Outlook shows how they can be cost effective when they are adapted to national labour market conditions such as a high incidence of informal employment. In all countries, a strong and sustainable economic recovery is more likely if workers have the skills that employers require and are employed in jobs which make good use of their skills. New measures of qualification and skill mismatch are presented and lessons drawn for education systems, life-long learning institutions and labour market policies.

English Also available in: French

Earnings Volatility

Causes and Consequences

This chapter presents, for the first time, comparable estimates of the extent to which individuals’ earnings fluctuate from year to year in a large number of OECD countries. It looks at which individuals are most likely to be affected by earnings volatility and at what causes it, as well as the impact of taxes and benefits. It also examines how wages and earnings vary across the business cycle, and how policies and institutions influence such fluctuations and the relative importance of different adjustment margins. By breaking the latter down by level of education, the chapter also examines the effect of the business cycle on earnings inequality, a key issue for social cohesion that has to date been investigated for only a few countries.

English Also available in: French

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