For years now we have been underlining the toll that inequality takes on people’s lives. And I am proud of the contribution that the OECD has made in recent decades, putting inequality at the heart of the political and economic debate. This report proposes concrete policy solutions to promote opportunities for more inclusive growth.
The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind. This long-run increase in income inequality not only raises social and political concerns, but also economic ones. It tends to drag down GDP growth, due to the rising distance of the lower 40% from the rest of society. Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential, which is bad for the economy as a whole. This book highlights the key areas where inequalities are created and where new policies are required, including: the consequences of current consolidation policies; structural labour market changes with rising non-standard work and job polarization; persisting gender gaps; the challenge of high wealth concentration, and the role for redistribution policies.
Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, according to a new OECD report.
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In November 2014, the G20 Leaders committed to reduce the gender labour force participation gap by 25% by 2025, as a collective commitment at G20 level. As an input to that decision, the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers issued a Declaration which included this issue and set forth 11 policy areas for potential action. This note proposes options and approaches for tracking the Leaders’ commitment to reduce the gender gap.
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Three out of four OECD countries use minimum wages, and supporting low-wage earners is widely seen as important for promoting inclusive growth. This policy brief considers three aspects that are central for a balanced assessment of policy choices: The cost of employing minimum-wage workers, their take-home pay, and the number of workers affected.
The world is still repairing the damage done to employment prospects and social equality by the crisis. Governments are trying to create not just more jobs, but better jobs. A new OECD framework helps them to define what job quality means and to measure whether their policies are succeeding.
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Wage stagnation and rising inequality are putting pressure on many American households. Facilitating movement up the career ladder and shoring up wages at the bottom of the pay ladder are policy priorities.
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Public employment services are increasingly important in government efforts to tackle unemployment and boost overall employment outcomes. To strengthen their contributions to this agenda, they require strong capacity and resources to activate job seekers, build connections with employers, and stimulate economic development.
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Sweden has a well-educated population and a high level of skills relative to other OECD countries, but student performance has fallen for the past decades. An additional challenge is how to better connect the education system to the labour market to ensure that students are equipped with those skills demanded by employers.
People today are living longer than ever before, while birth rates are dropping in the majority of OECD countries. Such demographics raise the question: are current public social expenditures adequate and sustainable? Older workers play a crucial role in the labour market. Now that legal retirement ages are rising, fewer older workers are retiring early, but at the same time those older workers who have lost their job after the age of 50 have tended to remain in long term unemployment. What can countries do to help? How can they give older people better work incentives and opportunities? These reports offer analysis and assessment on what the best policies are for fostering employability, job mobility and labour demand at an older age.