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Skill requirements are changing rapidly as a result of structural shifts. Workforce employability is essential to turn structural change into an opportunity for all. Education and training systems, labour markets, workers and workplaces will have to become more adaptable. A set of concrete actionable measures is proposed to improve the employability of each economy’s workforce.
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The labour market recovery in the Netherlands is lagging behind. As of the last quarter of 2015, the unemployment rate stood at 6.7%, just one percentage point lower than its cyclical peak and three percentage points higher from its level at the start of the global financial crisis. As a result of the sluggish recovery, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands is now slightly higher than that for the OECD as a whole.
The recently published Second International Report for the Survey of Adults Skills looks in detail at the extent to which proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments matters for the well-being of individuals and nations. The answer that emerges is clear: proficiency is positively linked to a number of important economic and social outcomes.
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Denmark was hit harder by the global financial crisis than its neighbouring countries and the OECD area, but is now slowly recovering. In the first quarter of 2016, the employment rate was still 4.8 percentage points lower than before the GFC with only minor improvement since 2013.
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Despite unprecedented progress over the past century, gender gaps in the labour market persist throughout the world and are especially marked in emerging economies. While the quantity of jobs held by women has increased in many countries, female workers continue to have worse jobs than men.
This chapter analyses how skills are used at work, why skills use matters for workers and economies and its key determinants. It draws on data for the 28 OECD countries participating in the Survey of Adult Skills.
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This OECD report was developed in collaboration with the United States, Mexico and Canada, for consideration by the three Leaders in the context of the 2016 North American Leaders Summit.
Today, the OECD publishes "Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills", the Second International Report for the Survey of Adults Skills, which covers a further nine countries and sub-national entities – Chile, Greece, Indonesia (Jakarta), Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey– that collected data in 2014-15.
New research points to the role of field-of-study mismatch in explaining the long-term effects of cyclical labour market shocks. It suggests that policy effort ought to be directed not just towards the NEETs, but also towards youth who find employment during recessions, given their higher risk of prolonged field-of-study mismatch and lower wages if mismatch is accompanied by overqualification.
The demand for soft skills is increasing, and recent evidence suggests that the supply does not seem to keep up. The benefits from further development of these skills go beyond better labour market outcomes, as soft skills have been shown to contribute to overall well-being.