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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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Unemployment‑benefit coverage: Recent trends and their drivers

This chapter discusses the scope of unemployment‑benefit systems, documents recent trends in the number of benefit recipients, and presents alternative measures of benefit coverage in comparative perspective. A decomposition analysis for selected countries seeks to identify key driving forces behind observed coverage trends, including labour‑market and demographic changes, as well as benefit policy reforms. In most countries, only a minority of jobseekers receive unemployment benefits and while benefit receipt has increased substantially during the early post‑crisis period, this has failed to arrest the longer‑term trend towards falling benefit coverage documented in earlier studies. Although composition effects account for a significant share of the recent decline of benefit coverage, some of it is a result of policy reforms that have reduced unemployment‑benefit generosity either in search of budgetary savings or in an effort to articulate job‑search incentives for the unemployed.

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