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Hungary was hit harder by the global crisis than most OECD countries. Unemployment reached record levels at the peak of the crisis but has since recovered to its pre-crisis level around the current OECD average of 8%.
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Poland’s employment rate at 61% (Q2 2014) remains well below the OECD average but, in contrast to many other countries, it has increased slowly since the onset of the economic crisis (from 57.9% in Q1 2007).
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Unemployment rose substantially in the Slovak Republic as a result of the crisis and has only declined slowly since reaching a peak of 14.8% of the labour force in early 2010. At 13.3% in August 2014, the unemployment rate remains one of the highest among developed countries and is twice as high as the OECD average.
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During the crisis, Sweden’s unemployment rate increased by almost 3 percentage points, but part of this increase has now been reabsorbed. By July 2014, unemployment had fallen to 7.7%, well down from a peak of 8.9% in 2010.
Il ressort d’un nouveau rapport de l’OCDE que le chômage restera bien au-dessus des niveaux d’avant la crise dans la plupart des pays membres, malgré un recul modeste sur le reste de l’année 2014 et en 2015.
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Despite moderate signs of recovery across many OECD countries in 2014, the unemployment rate in Greece remains stuck at close to its highest level since the onset of the economic crisis (27.2% as of May 2014). OECD projections suggest that the expected joblessness rate in Greece will remain high (around 27%) through to the end of 2015.
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Switzerland has high employment rates and low unemployment. The overall employment rate remained stable since the start of the crisis and stands at 79% (first quarter of 2014), the second highest in the OECD after Iceland, well above the OECD average of 65.6%. As for unemployment, among OECD countries only Japan, Korea, and Norway have lower unemployment rates.
This report examines recent activation policies in the United Kingdom aimed at moving people back into work. It offers insight into how countries can improve the effectiveness of their employment services and also control spending on benefits. The United Kingdom's policies have helped limit the rise in unemployment during the crisis. It has been at the forefront of reform efforts by OECD countries to transform and modernise policies designed to help the unemployed find work, through major new programmes such as Universal Credit and the Work Programme. Although time is needed for these to gain momentum as well as for a full evaluation of their impact to be carried out, the report identifies a number of areas where consideration should be given to additional measures or adjustments to existing ones.
This report provides an initial evaluation of the comprehensive reform of the Spanish labour market undertaken in 2012. It describes the key components of the 2012 reform and places them in the context of the evolution of labour market institutions in other OECD member countries, with a particular focus on collective bargaining and employment protection legislation. The report also assesses the impact of the reform on the ability of firms to adjust wages and working time to cope with demand shocks, as well as the flows in the labour market for different types of contracts and the overall duality of the Spanish labour market. It also considers what complementary reforms would be required to improve the effectiveness of the labour market reform, in particular in the area of active labour market policies.
Given the ageing challenges, there is an increasing pressure in OECD countries to further boost the employability of the working-age population over the coming decades. This report provides an overview of policy iniatives implemented over the past decade in the Netherlands and identifies areas where more should be done, covering both supply-side and demand-side aspects. To give better incentives to carry on working, the report recommends to promote longer contribution periods in the second-pillar pension schemes, and ensure better information and transparency of pension schemes, with a special focus on groups with low financial literacy. On the side of employers, it is important to progress towards more age-neutral hiring decisions and wage-setting procedures with more focus on performance and less on tenure and seniority. To improve the employability of older workers, the focus should be to promote training measures for older unemployed which are directly linked to a specific job. The large diversity in municipal "Work-First"programmes should be utilised in designing mor effective activation policies targetted on those at risk of losing contact with the labour market.