In the post-war period, Italy enjoyed high growth by exploiting its decentralised production base and nurturing the technical and vocational skills needed for specialised manufacturing. But over the past fifteen years, Italy’s economic performance has been sluggish and productivity has stagnated. This is partly due to skills challenges.
It is a great pleasure to join you to open this event and present the new OECD report, Local Job Creation: Employment and Skills Strategies in Slovenia. Allow me to begin by acknowledging the close partnership with both ministries throughout this project.
The G20 is suffering from ageing populations and declining productivity growth. While a pervasive technology revolution is accelerating globalisation.
It is my pleasure to launch the OECD’s 2017 Employment Outlook, our flagship report on key labour market developments and prospects in OECD member countries. I’d like to thank Minister Nahles and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs for hosting this event. Today’s launch is very timely given our High-Level Policy Forum on the new OECD Jobs Strategy here in Berlin.
Globalisation, demographic trends and technological change are transforming jobs in our economy. 9% of jobs across OECD countries could be automated in the next 15-20 years and a further 25% are at risk of significant change. The risk in emerging economies is even larger. According to recent studies, China and India together account for the largest technically automatable employment potential.
It is a pleasure to be here today to launch the 2017 OECD Scoreboard on Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs. It is an honour to welcome Minister Padoan, an old friend of the OECD, here at our Washington Centre. And it is a very timely moment to take a closer look at the issue of SME finance.
In Lyon and New York, we charted a comprehensive agenda for action for better investment in the health workforce. The release of "Working for Health and Growth: Investing in the Health Workforce" is a milestone in our common quest to create the right health jobs, with the right skills, in the right places.
Labour market conditions are improving in OECD countries. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the employment rate was 0.6 percentage points below its pre-crisis rate, representing a deficit of 5.6 million jobs. This deficit is projected to narrow further this year, and close completely in 2017. We’re on the right track! But ─ as always ─ we need to dig a bit deeper to see the full picture.
We gather here as labour market conditions are improving. Job creation is strengthening in many countries, in no small part thanks to policy efforts made by many of you during these difficult years. But there are still over 40 million people looking for work in OECD countries, 8 million more than in December 2007.
Globalisation, demographic trends and technological change are transforming jobs in our economy. The overall organisation of work and the skills needed in the workplace are undergoing profound and rapid changes. It is imperative for us to remain ahead of the curve and to be able to provide the necessary tools for workers, companies and labour markets to adapt to these changes efficiently.