Employment policies and data

Active labour market policies and activation strategies


OECD countries are placing increased priority on Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) to help get unemployed people back to work.  Such policies include job placement services, benefit administration, and labour market programmes such as training and job creation.

Activation strategies help ensure that jobseekers have a better chance of finding employment. Key features of such strategies are to enforce work-availability and mutual obligation requirements. Benefit recipients are expected to engage in active job search and improve their employability, in exchange for receiving efficient employment services and benefit payment.

Current review on activation policies

Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. However, weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. Therefore, the OECD is carrying out a new review of  activation policies to encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged groups who face the greatest barriers and disincentives to finding work.

Connecting people with jobs -United Kingdom


Connecting People with Jobs: Activation Policies in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of efforts by OECD countries to transform and modernise measures to tackle unemployment and inactivity. This continues with the two major recent initiatives of Universal Credit and the Work Programme.


‌‌Activating Jobseekers: How Australia Does It

Australia’s labour market reforms over the past 15 years have boosted employment and cut welfare benefit dependency. But further efforts are needed to help people with a partial work capacity get back to work and to tackle the high rate of people working part-time who want to work full-time‌

Working papers-Social, Employment and Migration

Working papers-Social, Employment and Migration ‌
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>> Related work: main features of the Public Employment Services

>>  Older country reports


 >> The data on public expenditure and participants stocks in labour market programmes can be accessed through OECD.Stat the online statistical platform of the OECD. See the OECD Database on Labour Market Programmes. Data are classified by broad categories and contain:

  • public expenditure in millions onf national currencies
  • public expenditure as a percentage of GDP
  • participants stocks in number of persons
  • participants stocks as a percentage of labour force
To know more on the classifcation, the scope and the comparability of the data on labour market programmes see:

>> The latest data on public expenditure and participants stocks in labour market programmes are published in the Statistical Annex on the OECD Employment Outlook (Table P)


KEY REPORTS on active labour market policies

RELATED employment policies



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