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This note presents key findings for Australia from Society at a Glance 2014 - OECD Social indicators. This 2014 publication also provides a special chapter on: the crisis and its aftermath: a “stress test” for societies and for social policies.
Australia has recently seen a slowdown in growth, with declining resource-sector investment, weak commodity prices and hesitant investment elsewhere in the economy, although the exchange-rate depreciation is helping the economy to adjust.
Australia has weathered the global economic crisis relatively well and enjoyed robust growth in per capita income, fostered by favourable terms of trade and high employment rates. However, productivity gains have slowed in recent years and the level remains below that of leading OECD countries.
The Local Job Creation series focuses on the role of employment and training agencies in contributing to job creation and productivity. It explores how OECD countries are implementing labour market and skills policy and putting measures in place at the local level to stimulate quality employment, inclusion and growth.
Employment and Skills Strategies in Australia focuses on the role of local employment and training agencies in contributing to job creation and productivity. It looks at the role of Local Employment Coordinators, introduced by the Department of Employment to work in 20 "priority employment areas" which were identified as needing extra assistance following the global financial crisis. This report is part of a comparative OECD review of local job creation policies, which explores how countries are putting measures in place at the local level to stimulate quality employment, social inclusion and growth.
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Australians continue to enjoy one of the highest levels of health across the developed world but need to address Australia’s growing obesity problem, according to a new OECD report.
Education Policy Outlook reviews the current context and situation of the country’s education system and examine its challenges and policy responses.
This report on the recent Australian experience with activation policies contains valuable lessons for other countries that need to improve the effectiveness of employment services and control benefit expenditure. It provides overview and assessment of labour market policies in Australia including the main institutions, benefit system, training programmes, employment incentives, and disability employment assistance.
Australia is unique among OECD countries in that its mainstream employment services are all delivered by over 100 for-profit and non-profit providers competing in a “quasi-market”, with their operations financed by service fees, employment outcome payments, and a special fund for measures that tackle jobseekers’ barriers to employment. In most other OECD countries, these services are delivered by the Public Employment Service. In the mid 2000s, several benefits previously paid without a job-search requirement were closed or reformed, bringing more people into the effective labour force.
Australia now has one of the highest employment rates in the OECD and this report concludes that its activation system deserves some of the credit for this relatively good performance. The Job Services Australia model, introduced in 2009, reinforced the focus on employment outcomes for highly-disadvantaged groups. This report assesses the latest model for activation and puts forward some recommendations to improve its effectiveness.
The energy sector is a significant contributor to the Australian economy. Exports have more than tripled over the past decade and surging economic and social expansion in relatively nearby emerging economies such as China and India has driven significant demand for Australian energy and mineral resources. This boom is widely forecast to continue in the coming decades.
Late in 2011, the Australian government released a draft energy white paper, which sets out a comprehensive strategic policy framework to guide the development of the energy sector. Also in 2011, the Australian government announced a climate change plan including a wide-ranging package of clean-energy proposals and the introduction of a carbon price mechanism accompanied by significant levels of financial support for innovation in clean-energy technologies.
The scale of Australia’s energy policy ambitions is enormous and very costly even for a resource-rich nation. Significant investments will be needed for the clean-energy transition and building the infrastructure necessary to expand the domestic resource base. This review analyses the energy-policy challenges facing Australia and provides critiques and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.