The present report on Australia is part of the series on "Investing in Youth", which builds on the expertise of the OECD on youth employment, social support and skills. This series covers both OECD countries and countries in the process of accession to the OECD, as well as some emerging economies. The report provides a detailed diagnosis of youth policies in the area of education, training, social and employment policies. Its main focus is on disengaged or at-risk of disengaged youth.
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Since mid-2015, Australia’s labour market has strengthened after being hit by the commodity price bust. Employment growth has picked up and further increases are expected over the remainder of this year and through 2017, with total employment approaching its pre-crisis level relative to the population aged 15-74.
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This note presents selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators published in How's Life? 2016.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Australia has the 8th lowest tax wedge among the 34 OECD member countries in 2015, compared with the 7th lowest position in 2014. The average single worker in Australia faced a tax wedge of 28.4% in 2015 compared with the OECD average of 35.9%.
Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the fourth in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that many displaced workers get new jobs relatively quickly in Australia, mostly thanks to a flexible and dynamic labour market. A small minority of displaced workers receive special support via the labour adjustment programmes, but some displaced workers who would need specific assistance, in particular in the older worker and/or low-educated groups, do not get sufficient support or only too late. There is room to improve policies by moving away from the current sectoral approach to special assistance programmes for workers collectively dismissed, towards an approach covering all sectors of the economy, with the intensity of intervention tailored to the circumstances and needs of the displaced workers. Expanding the training component for displaced workers and making use of skills assessment and training to better target the training and enhance its effectiveness would also help displaced workers transition to sustainable jobs of a certain quality.
The 2015 edition of National Accounts of OECD Countries, General Government Accounts is an annual publication, dedicated to government finance which is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) for all countries except Chile, Japan, Korea and Turkey (SNA 1993). It includes tables showing government aggregates and balances for the production, income and financial accounts as well as detailed tax and social contribution receipts and a breakdown of expenditure of general government by function, according to the harmonised international classification, COFOG. These detailed accounts are available for the general government sector. Data also cover the following sub-sectors, according to availability: central government, state government, local government and social security funds.
The data in this publication are also available on line via www.oecd-ilibrary.org under the title OECD National Accounts Statistics, General Government Accounts (http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga-data-en and http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga08-data-en).
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In Australia, there are two main categories for nurses: Enrolled Nurses (EN) (who, after an additional 6 months of studies, can become Endorsed Enrolled Nurses (EEN)) and Registered Nurses (RN). Graduates from RN programmes can pursue further education and training to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) or Nurse Practitioners (NP).
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In 2012, 20% of students in Australia were low performers in mathematics (OECD average: 23%), 14% were low performers in reading (OECD average: 18%), 14% were low performers in science (OECD average: 18%), and 9% were low performers in all three of these subjects (OECD average: 12%)
Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Australia is the ninth and last in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that policy thinking in Australia shows well-advanced awareness both of the costs of mental illness for society as a whole and of the health benefits of employment. However, challenges remain in: making employment issues a concern of the health care services; helping young people succees in their future working lives; making the workplace a safe, supportive psychosocial environment; and better designing and targeting employment services for jobseekers with mental ill-health.