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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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Still out of pocket: Recent labour market performance and wage developments

This chapter examines the evolution of labour market performance since the onset of the global financial crisis. OECD labour markets are back to pre‑crisis levels in terms of job quantity, with only few notable exceptions, while a more mixed picture emerges as regards job quality and inclusiveness. In spite of this, nominal wage growth remains remarkably lower than it was before the crisis for comparable levels of unemployment, and the shift of the relationship between unemployment and wage growth has continued during the recovery. The chapter investigates the factors accounting for the persistent wage growth slowdown. While low inflation expectations and productivity growth deceleration remain the main drivers of observed patterns, the dynamics of low‑pay jobs and the wages associated to them have also been key factors accounting for the overall decline in wage growth.

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