OECD Newsletter on Employment, Migration, Health and Social Affairs




This newsletter tells you about the work of the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) on employment, health, migration and social issues. The newsletter is published quarterly (in English only).

AUTUMN 2014 



The OECD Employment Outlook was released on 3 September 2014 in Paris.

“While wage cuts have helped contain job losses and restore competitiveness to countries with large deficits before the crisis, further reductions may be counterproductive and neither create jobs nor boost demand,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said while launching the report in Paris (Read the full speech). “Governments around the world, including the major emerging economies, must focus on strengthening economic growth and the most effective way is through structural reforms to enhance competition in product and services markets. This will boost investment, productivity, jobs, earnings and well-being.”  

Read more

Watch the launch of the Employment Outlook 2014


Two new briefs were released in May and June 2014:

Rising Inequality: Youth and poor fall further behind  

Focus on Top Incomes and Taxation in OECD Countries: Was the crisis a game changer?  

    New videoIncome inequality undermines growth

New OECD research suggests that widening inequality is undermining growth. By tackling the growing gap in incomes between rich and poor families, not only will societies become fairer, they will also be richer. The OECD provides new evidence on the type of inequality that matters for growth.


-‌‌‌ OECD Health Statistics 2014
The database was released on 30 June 2014, showing that health spending has started to rise again after stagnating or even falling in many OECD countries during the crisis. 
Read more 

- The 2014 edition of Obesity Update was released on 27 May 2014. Most people in OECD countries are overweight or obese. New OECD data and analysis reveal that obesity levels have continued to rise in most countries over the past five years, but more slowly than before. The social and economic consequences of this epidemic are dramatic, exposing an increasing number of people to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. OECD data show that obesity is also an inequality issue, especially in women. The economic crisis has made families spend less on food, but poor households have also switched to junk foods with high calories.

- In co-operation with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), the OECD hosted a workshop in Toronto on September 15th: “Addressing dementia research and care: Can big data help?” exploring the role that big data can play in improving dementia research and care. Read more

- Despite remarkable progress in health status and life expectancy in OECD countries, there remain large inequalities not only across countries, but also across population groups within each country. Learn more about Health inequalities.

Graph of the Month

The OECD Health Division is releasing a new series to highlight its work on health policies and data. A new graph will be available each month. Follow the series as it develops at www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/graph-of-the-month.htm

Knee_replacement‌Knee replacement rates display high levels of variations. They vary by more than four-fold across countries. They are highest in Australia, Switzerland, Finland, Canada and Germany (above 200 per 100 000 population over 15-years old) while they are below 150 in other countries, with Israel having the lowest rate (56 per 100 000). Knee replacements also vary by two- to three-fold across geographic areas in most countries; and vary by more than five-fold in Canada, Portugal and Spain. In these three countries, however, large variations are partly explained by outliers with very low rates (Spain and Portugal) or with both high and low rates (Canada). Low rates in Spain and Portugal may be partly explained by partial coverage of data, which only include public hospitals.

Note: The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

Source: Geographic Variations in Health Care: What Do We Know and What Can Be Done to Improve Health System Performance?, OECD Publishing, p.47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264216594-en.

A new special study about the integration of migrants into the Swedish labour market came out in August 2014: Finding the Way: A Discussion of the Swedish Migrant Integration System 

Italy is the focus of Volume 4 of Jobs for Immigrants about Labour Market Integration; the report was released in July 2014.

The Migration Policy Debate “Is Migration good for the economy” was published in Spring 2014. It looks at the evidence for how immigrantion affects three main areas: the labour market, the public purse and economic growth.

Recruiting Immigrant Workers:New Zealand 2014

New Zealand is one of the OECD countries with large and longstanding labour migration. The report finds that by and large, the New Zealand labour migration system is functioning well.
Several if its features , for example the Expression of Interest system, are gradually becoming an example for selection systems elsewhere in the OECD.


- The last G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting took place in Melbourne, Australia, on 10 11 September. A large and persistent shortfall in the number and quality of the jobs created in G20 countries is affecting prospects for re-igniting economic growth, according to a report prepared by the ILO, the OECD an the World Bank Group for the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting. 
Find out more

Connecting People with Jobs - Activation Policies in the United Kingdom (cover)

‌- Connecting People with Jobs: Activation Policies in the United Kingdom was launched in London in July 2014.  

This report says that the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of efforts by OECD countries to transform and modernise measures to tackle unemployment and inactivity,
including through the two major recent initiatives of Universal Credit and the Work Programme.
The report belongs to a series of reviews on activation policies.


New video: Wages since the crisis 
Most workers have seen their wages and earnings rise little or even fall since
the crisis.
This video explores why and explains who has been affected. 
‌‌‌Employment Outlook 2014

This year’s edition reviews recent labour market trends and short-term prospects in OECD and key emerging economies. It zooms in on how the crisis has affected earnings, provides country comparisons of job quality, examines the causes and consequences of non-regular employment, and estimates the impact of qualifications and skills on labour market outcomes.
Read more 

Geographic Variations in Health Care: What Do We Know and 
What Can Be Done to Improve Health System Performance?

Whether or not you receive a particular health service depends to a very great extent on the country in which you live – but also on where you live within a country. This report documents very large variations in health care use across countries and within countries. It shows how some of the very large geographic variations observed cannot be fully explained by differences in need or patient preferences and argues that governments should step up efforts to ensure better use of health services.


‌‌‌Matching Economic - ENGLISH COVER
Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs

How can governments ensure that migration and free movement of workers contribute to meeting the labour market shortages that are expected to arise over the next 50 years? How can societies better use the skills of their migrants? What lessons can non-European OECD countries offer Europe, particularly regarding labour migration management? It was to address such questions that the European Commission and the OECD jointly carried out a three-year research project on “Matching economic migration with labour market needs”.
Read more  
Read the Policy Brief  


‌‌New OECD Series on Health Care Quality Reviews - CoverHealth Care Quality Reviews: Norway (May) 
Czech Republic (June)

These reviews seek to examine what works and what does not work in different countries – both to benchmark the efforts of countries and to provide advice on reforms to improve their health system. Key emerging insights include:
- Primary and community care services are being asked to do more, but lack the information infrastructures and incentives needed to deliver
- Integrated and co-ordinated care is much discussed, but patients and their families say their care looks and feels the same as it did a decade ago
- Patient-level quality monitoring has the potential to deliver huge quality gains, but is being held back by political and technical difficulties in linking data together
- Central authorities are taking an increasing prominent role in quality assurance, but health care is almost always locally planned and delivered creating tension
Read more


View all Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 
and Health Working Papers


Seminars last for 75-90 minutes and usually take place in the OECD Conference Centre.
Those wishing to attend please contact Monica Meza-Essid (Monica.MEZAESSID@oecd.org). 

Please check our ELS Seminars webpage

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Related Documents


ELS Newsletter - Spring 2014

OECD Newsletter on Employment, Migration, Health and Social Affairs - Spring 2013

OECD Newsletter on Employment, Migration, Health and Social Affairs - Autumn 2012


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