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OECD Employment Outlook 2018

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2018

The 2018 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews labour market trends and prospects in OECD countries. Chapter 1 presents recent labour market developments. Wage growth remains sluggish due to low inflation expectations, weak productivity growth and adverse trends in low-pay jobs. Chapter 2 looks at the decline of the labour share and shows that this is partially related to the emergence of "superstar" firms, which invest massively in capital-intensive technologies. Chapter 3 investigates the role of collective bargaining institutions for labour market performance. Systems that co-ordinate wages across sectors are associated with better employment outcomes, but firm-level adjustments of sector-level agreements are sometimes required to avoid adverse effects on productivity. Chapter 4 examines the role of policy to facilitate the transition towards new jobs of workers who were dismissed for economic reasons, underlying the need of early interventions in the unemployment spell. Chapter 5 analyses jobseekers' access to unemployment benefits and shows that most jobseekers do not receive unemployment benefits and coverage has often been falling since the Great Recession. Chapter 6 investigates the reason why the gender gap in labour income increases over the working life, stressing the role of the lower professional mobility of women around childbirth.

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Back to work: Lessons from nine country case studies of policies to assist displaced workers

This chapter analyses how best labour market programmes can reduce the costs borne by workers who lose their jobs due to business closings or other economic reasons (“displaced workers”). The chapter shows that a considerable number of workers are displaced every year and that many in this group – especially older workers in blue‑collar jobs – experience large earnings losses due to both long periods out of work and re‑employment at a lower wage. The chapter draws upon detailed case studies of policies to assist displaced workers in nine OECD countries and provides many examples of the effective use of active labour market policies and unemployment benefits to ensure that the labour market adjustment costs inherent to a dynamic economy are kept as low as possible and that these costs are not unfairly concentrated on the displaced workers who have the most limited job mobility.

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