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OECD Employment Outlook 2019

The Future of Work

image of OECD Employment Outlook 2019

The 2019 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook presents new evidence on changes in job stability, underemployment and the share of well-paid jobs, and discusses the policy implications of these changes with respect to how technology, globalisation, population ageing, and other megatrends are transforming the labour market in OECD countries. The report discusses how labour market regulation might be used to extend rights and protections beyond standard employees, as well as to rebalance bargaining power between employers and workers. It analyses how collective bargaining and social dialogue can be mobilised to address emerging challenges in the labour market, looking at the role of government, social partners and new forms of collective organisation. The role of adult learning is also addressed, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups. And finally the report also assesses challenges for social protection policies, presenting evidence on the support gaps affecting different types of worker, and discussing reform avenues for preserving and strengthening the key stabilising role of social protection systems.

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Overview: The future of work is in our hands

Despite the many opportunities, much anxiety surrounds the future of work. Doomsday scenarios are unlikely to materialise, but there are some real risks. Many are worried that the world of work is heading for a dystopian future of massive technological unemployment, precarious work, workers with little or no bargaining power, and important skills gaps as populations age rapidly. But the future of work will largely depend on the policy decisions countries make. With the right policies and institutions in place, the opportunities that digitalisation, globalisation and longer lives will bring can be seized, and the risks mitigated.

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