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OECD Employment Outlook 2015

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2015

The 2015 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook provides an in-depth review of recent labour market trends and short-term prospects in OECD countries. Chapter 1 looks at recent labour market developments focusing on minimum wages, while Chapter 2 draws on the OECD’s International Survey of Adult Skills and considers skills and wage inequality. Chapter 3 looks how policies to get job seekers back into work can help make labour markets more inclusive, while Chapter 4 examines job quality in terms of earnings mobility, labour market risk and long-term inequality. Finally, Chapter 5 discusses how job quality in emerging economies can be enhanced.

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Executive summary

Labour market conditions are generally improving in OECD countries but the recovery from the recent economic crisis remains very uneven across countries. Employment is still growing too slowly in the OECD area to close the jobs gap induced by the crisis any time soon. The jobs mix has shifted towards more part-time work and away from manufacturing and construction jobs which may be making it harder for some unemployed to find full-time jobs. Consequently, unemployment will remain high even by end 2016. At 7.1% in Q4 2014, the OECD average unemployment rate was still 1.6 percentage points above its pre-crisis level. Unemployment is projected to continue its slow decline during the rest of 2015 and 2016, reaching 6.6% in the last quarter of 2016 while remaining above 20% in Greece and Spain. Long-term unemployment also remains unacceptably high and there is a danger that many in this group have become disengaged from the labour market, making it harder to reduce unemployment. Youth unemployment remains well above its-pre crisis levels in many countries as does the share of young people who are not working or studying (the so-called NEETs). Weak real wage growth also remains a concern, particularly in the euro area.

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