Unemployment soared in the crisis, and creating jobs is now a major policy priority. But jobs alone will not be enough. A greater emphasis on skills will be needed for the recovery to last.
The OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate has launched in September 2008 a series of seminars open to both external and internal speakers. It is intended to be an informal forum for discussion of policy-oriented empirical research work among policy-makers, academics and OECD staff.
Mental illness is a growing problem in society and is increasingly affecting productivity and well-being in the workplace. This project challenges some of the myths around mental health.
Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity manage to remain in employment. This is a social and economic tragedy common to virtually all OECD countries. It also raises an apparent paradox that needs explaining: Why is it that the average health status is improving, yet large numbers of people of working age are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits?
This report, the last in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers, synthesises the project’s findings and explores the possible factors behind the paradox described above. It highlights the roles of institutions and policies and concludes that higher expectations and better incentives for the main actors – workers, employers, doctors, public agencies and service providers – are crucial. Based on a review of good and bad practices across OECD countries, this report suggests a series of major reforms are needed to promote employment of people with health problems.
The report examines a number of critical policy choices between: tightening inflows and raising outflows from disability benefit, and promoting job retention and new hiring of people with health problems. It questions the need for distinguishing unemployment and disability as two distinct contingencies, emphasises the need for a better evidence base, and underlines the challenges for policy implementation.
Angel Gurría recalled the role played by the OECD Bologna Process and Charter and the "need to harness the potential of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the fight against unemployment, social exclusion and poverty" in his remarks to the “Bologna+10” High-level Meeting.
This series of country-specific reviews of labour makret and social policies examines policies and institutions and makes recommendations for improvements.
Greater integration into the world economy and important policy reforms have resulted in Brazil, China, India and South Africa becoming major actors in the globalisation process, with impressive results in terms of economic growth, social development and poverty reduction. But the benefits of stronger growth have not always been shared equally and income inequality has remained at very high levels.
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Since the onset of the global crisis, unemployment rate in France increased by 2.1 percentage points between December 2007 and May 2010, a milder increase compared to the OECD average (2.8 percentage points).