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Growth in Unit labour costs (ULCs) in the OECD area accelerated to 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 0.2% in the third quarter. Overall, growth in labour compensation per unit of labour input slowed marginally (to 0.3% compared to 0.4% in the third quarter). But this was more than offset by a significant slowdown in labour productivity (minus 0.3% compared to plus 0.2% in the previous quarter).
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.
Summary of Economic Surveys: 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.
A simple econometric framework is presented linking current account balances of euro area countries to intra and extra euro area competitiveness, cyclical positions, fiscal positions and the oil price.
Luxembourg is a rich and fast-growing country. However, inequality of disposable incomes has trended up modestly over the past decades and relative poverty has risen reflecting mainly the rapid growth of high incomes.
Instead of resorting to trade measures such as export restrictions, Chile manages its minerals sector through a combination of balanced taxation, stable investment measures, good management of tax revenue, exchange rate policy and initiatives aimed at producing a multiplier effect of economy-wide development, according to this study.
Following a sharp drop amidst the global economic crisis and a subsequent recovery, the spot price of crude oil has been broadly stable for the past couple of years. This paper discusses the factors that drive oil demand and supply and, hence, the price of the resource.