Portugal has one of the most unequal income distributions in Europe and poverty levels are high. The economic crisis has halted a long-term gradual decline in both inequality and poverty and the number of poor households is rising, with children and youths being particularly affected. Unemployment is one of the principal reasons why household incomes declined.
Investing in young people is essential for inclusive and sustainable development, since the way in which youth develop and grow will not only shape the present but will also profoundly determine the future of any country.Timely interventions directed at young people are therefore likely to yield a greater return than attempts to build these capacities later in the life-cycle.
This report provides a detailed diagnosis of the youth labour market and education system in Latvia from an international comparative perspective, and offers tailored recommendations to help improve school-to-work transitions. It also provides an opportunity for other countries to learn from the innovative measures that Latvia has taken to strengthen the skills of youth and their employment outcomes, notably through the implementation of a Youth Guarantee.
Latvia should step up its efforts to improve the employment prospects of young people by continuing to reform its vocational education system and pursuing the commitments made as part of the Youth Guarantee to further reduce the share of young people under 30 who are not in employment, education or training.
Countries where skills are less equally distributed tend to have higher wage inequality. Putting skills to better use can help reduce wage inequality, by strengthening the links between workers’ skills, productivity and wages.
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Labour market conditions are improving in many OECD countries but the recovery from the recent economic crisis remains very uneven. Employment is still growing too slowly in the OECD area to close the jobs gap induced by the crisis, even by the end of 2016. Consequently, unemployment for the OECD as a whole is projected to continue its slow decline, reaching 6.6% by the end of 2016.
Human capital is key for economic growth. Not only is it linked to aggregate economic performance but also to each individual’s labour market outcomes. However, a skilled population is not enough to achieve high and inclusive growth, as skills need to be put into productive use at work.
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OECD countries are seeing a trend away from traditional employment towards part-time and temporary work and self-employment. However, there are concerns that part-time and temporary work are contributing to inequality and poverty. Policy needs to focus on ensuring that these "non-traditional" jobs are stepping stones to better jobs, not dead ends.
This paper examines the use of two forms of non-standard work contracts in Russia with data from an enterprise survey for the years 2009 to 2011. Non-standard work contracts are less costly and more flexible for employers. Internal adjustment in form of wage cuts or unpaid leave is not covered by the Labour Code and earlier practices to impose such measures are less tolerated.
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Addressing poor labour market outcomes for youth will require measures to boost job creation, increase employability through better education and training, promote entrepreneurship, improve job quality, and strengthen social protection.