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OECD Employment Outlook 2017

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2017

The 2017 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews recent labour market trends and short-term prospects in OECD countries. Chapter 1 presents a comparative scoreboard of labour market performance that encompasses the quantity and quality of employment, as well as the inclusiveness of the labour market. During the past decade, most countries managed to better integrate women and potentially disadvantaged groups into the labour market and improve the quality of the working environment, whereas earnings quality was more or less stable and labour market security worsened. Chapter 2 looks at the resilience of labour markets following the global crisis and shows how both structural reforms and expansionary fiscal policy mitigate the unemployment costs of adverse aggregate shocks. OECD countries generally have avoided an increase in structural unemployment, but not a marked deceleration of wage and productivity growth. Chapter 3 documents the impact of technological progress and globalisation on OECD labour markets over the past two decades. Technology is shown to have been strongly associated with both job polarisation and de-industrialisation. The impact of trade integration is difficult to detect and probably small, although rising imports from China has a small effect in depressing employment in manufacturing. Chapter 4 provides an exceptionally rich portrait of collective bargaining in OECD countries that makes it possible to understand better how national systems differ and the implications of those differences for economic performance.

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How are we doing? A broad assessment of labour market performance

This chapter develops a framework for assessing labour market performance and applies it to OECD countries and a number of emerging economies. The framework is multi-dimensional and is intended to help guide the reassessment and updating of the OECD Jobs Strategy. The framework covers not only the quantity and quality of jobs, but also different aspects of labour market inclusiveness, a topic that has received less attention from researchers. After a short review of the key indicators of the quantity and quality of jobs, the chapter analyses the measurement of labour market inclusion in much greater detail. In particular, three complementary indicators of different aspects of inclusiveness are proposed, namely, the low income rate for the working-age population, the gender gap in labour income, and the employment gaps for five disadvantaged groups. The performance of a number of countries shows that it is possible to do well in creating more and better jobs that benefit all segments of society.

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