COVID-19 is testing the Basque Country’s resilience. In the spring of 2020, the region had a large number of cases and implemented strong measures to help contain the virus, including a confinement of the population, and a halt to non-essential economic activity. The Basque government put in place a host of measures to strengthen the health system while also supporting individuals and firms to cope with the labour market shock.

Economic crisis often leads to profound changes in the way people live and work. COVID-19 is likely to accelerate structural changes in the labour market, including automation and digitalisation. Firms may increasingly look to technology as a way to pandemic proof their operations, while individuals may develop preferences for automated services as opposed to face-to-face contact. This OECD report sheds light on the potential impacts of automation on the Basque labour market, including which types of jobs and groups of workers are most likely to be impacted. The report also highlights the critical role to be played by employment services and training policies to help people and firms make better labour market transitions into emerging job opportunities. The Basque Country’s robust employment and skills system is at the frontline of the crisis response.

This report is part of the Programme of Work of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme. Created in 1982, the LEED Programme aims to contribute to the creation of more and better jobs in more productive and inclusive economies. It produces guidance to make the implementation of national policies more effective at the local level, while stimulating innovative practices on the ground. The OECD LEED Directing Committee, which gathers governments of OECD member and non-member countries, oversees the work of the LEED Programme.

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