Regional contributions to change in employment

Between 2000 and 2014, differences in annual growth of employment rates across OECD countries were as large as 2.3 percentage points, ranging from -0.6% in Portugal and Greece to 1.7% in Israel (Figure 2.29).

Over the same period, differences in growth of regional employment rates across regions were above 2 percentage points in 13 out of 31 countries. The widest regional differences are found in Austria, Poland, Italy and the United States among the OECD countries, and Colombia and the Russian Federation among the emerging economies (Figure 2.29).

In 12 out of 24 countries considered, employment creation was higher in predominantly rural than in predominantly urban regions in the period 2000-14 (Figure 2.30).

Relatively few regions led national employment creation: on average, the regions accounting for 20% of OECD employment contributed to one-third of the overall employment growth in the OECD area between 2000 and 2014. The regional contribution to national employment creation was particularly pronounced in certain countries. In Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Korea, the regions accounting for 20% of employment, created 50% or more of national employment between 2000 and 2014 (Figure 2.31, panel A).

The economic crisis has slowed down the creation of employment also in the most dynamic regions in all OECD countries, with the exception of Turkey, Luxembourg, Israel and Mexico. On average in the period 2008-14, the annual employment growth rate of the regions accounting for 20% of employment was negative in eight OECD countries and lower than in the period 2000-07 in 22 countries; in Spain, for example, the regions accounting for 20% of national employment had an annual employment growth rate of 0.9% in the period 2000-07 and -0.3% in 2008-14. In Korea, the annual employment growth rate in the period 2008-14 of the top 20% regions was less than half of that in 2000-07 (Figure 2.31, panel B).


Employed persons are all persons who during the reference week worked at least one hour for pay or profit, or were temporarily absent from such work. Family workers are included.

The employment rate is defined as the ratio between total employment (measured at the place of residence) and population in the class age 15-64.

The contribution to employment growth by the top 20% regions is defined as the regional share in employment creation of the regions with highest employment growth and corresponding to 20% of the national employment.


OECD (2015), OECD Regional Statistics (database),

Reference years and territorial level

2000-14; TL3.

Figure notes

 2.29- 2.31: TL2 regions for Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Russian Federation and Slovenia. Canada and Germany Non Official Grids. First available year: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Japan, Peru and Slovenia 2001. Last available year: Austria, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Switzerland 2013; Colombia 2012. Denmark and Turkey are excluded for lack of data on comparable years.

Information on data for Israel:

2.29. Regional variation in employment annual growth rate, 2000-14

2.30. Employment average annual growth, by type of region, 2000-14

2.31. Contribution to national employment growth and annual employment growth rates by top 20% regions