Our economic growth models have not equitably distribute benefits. Inequalities were brewing under the surface prior to 2007 and increased almost everywhere even during periods of sustained economic growth. We need to reverse this trend, said OECD Secretary-General.
Global economic activity is picking up, but the continuing crisis in the euro area is delaying a meaningful recovery, the OECD said in its latest Interim Economic Assessment.
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China’s new leadership has signalled that it is time to step up the pace of reform, building on the remarkable economic and social achievements to date while recognising the pressing need for deep structural changes. Indeed, far-reaching reforms are necessary for continuing to raise living standards and well-being, even as China is poised to become the world’s largest economy by around 2016.
China enjoys a more stable and balanced growth and is now definitely on course to become the world’s largest economy around 2016. But major reforms are still needed to ensure a fourth decade of rapidly converging living standards and a greener economy, said OECD Secretary-General.
Being able to measure people’s quality of life is fundamental when assessing the progress of societies. There is now widespread acknowledgement that measuring subjective well-being is an essential part of measuring quality of life alongside other social and economic dimensions. As a first step to improving the measures of quality of life, the OECD has produced Guidelines which provide advice on the collection and use of measures of subjective well-being. These Guidelines have been produced as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, a pioneering project launched in 2011, with the objective to measure society’s progress across eleven domains of well-being, ranging from jobs, health and housing, through to civic engagement and the environment.
These Guidelines represent the first attempt to provide international recommendations on collecting, publishing, and analysing subjective well-being data. They provide guidance on collecting information on people's evaluations and experiences of life, as well as on collecting “eudaimonic” measures of psychological well-being. The Guidelines also outline why measures of subjective well-being are relevant for monitoring and policy making, and why national statistical agencies have a critical role to play in enhancing the usefulness of existing measures. They identify the best approaches for measuring, in a reliable and consistent way, the various dimensions of subjective well-being, and provide guidance for reporting on such measures. The Guidelines also include a number of prototype survey modules on subjective well-being that national and international agencies can use in their surveys.
France has avoided the most severe impacts of the global economic crisis and turmoil in the euro area, but must now take action to boost competitiveness and create jobs, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of France.
Employment has risen by more and unemployment has risen less than expected, given the path of output. Nevertheless, long-term and youth unemployment and involuntary part-time work are high. A polarised labour market risks worsening income inequality, which is high by OECD standards, despite a recent and likely temporary decline.
Under the Universal Credit reform, the main means-tested benefits except the Council Tax Benefit will be pooled into one single benefit with one single taper rate. The reform will give people better incentives to work, reduce complexity and contribute to reducing poverty.