3- Labour market


Downloads from the brochure:
Full chapter on population (pdf, 570 KB)
Table and graphs on labour market (xls, 419 KB)


Inactive youths

Did you know?
“Inactive youths” are those between 15 and 19 who have no jobs and are not at school.
In most countries the gender differences are small but there were substantially fewer young inactive women than men in Norway, Belgium and Sweden and many more inactive women than men in Mexico and Turkey.

Gender wage gaps

Did you know?
In all OECD countries median wages for men are higher than those for women. The average difference is more than 15% and exceeds 20% in several countries.
Male median earnings are more than 20% higher than those of women in Korea, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. Note that these are median earnings in full-time jobs and so are not affected by a widespread preference for parttime work by women (though men tend to work longer hours than women). At the other end of the scale, the gender gap is less than 12% in New Zealand, Belgium, Poland, Greece and France.


Did you know?
The “employment rate” is the number of people of working age who are in employment divided by all those of working age.
Employment rates of women are below employment rates of men in all OECD countries. But nearly everywhere, the gap between male and female employment rates has been falling. There are only five countries where the gap between male
and female employment rates have risen since the mid-1990s – Turkey, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden.


Did you know?
For statisticians, the “labour force” is everybody who is either working or is “unemployed”. The “unemployed” are people who are actively looking for work but who have not found more than one hour of paid work in the last week. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.
The female unemployment rate is the number of unemployed women as a percentage of the female labour force. Poland has the highest with nearly 20% of the female labour force out of work in 2004; the Slovak Republic was second with just over 19%.


Did you know?
According to the standard ILO definition any person who works for more than one hour per week is counted as being employed. As a result, self-employment rates are very high in countries where there are many small farms because virtually all family members will do at least an hour’s work on the farm.
Ignoring self-employment in agriculture, Greece, Korea, Italy and Mexico have the highest rates of self-employment while Norway, France and the United States have the lowest.
The self-employment rate for men is more than twice that of women in most OECD countries.

Working hours

Did you know?
“More than one in four women work part-time and nearly three out of four part-time jobs are held by women. Part-time work by women increases when they live with a partner and increases still further if they have dependent children.
Men tend to work longer hours than women in paid employment, but women work more hours in unpaid activities – housework and caring for children and elderly parents. Most OECD countries carry out “time-use” surveys to measure this unpaid employment, but these are not done regularly or on a comparable basis.

Occupations of men and women

Did you know?
Women tend to work in a much narrower range of occupations than men.
The International Labour Organisation lists 110 major occupation groups in their classification of occupations (ISCO). In OECD countries for which information is available, half of all women work in eleven or fewer of these occupations.

Immigrants and employment

Did you know?
Statisticians define employment as work for pay or profit of at least one hour in the last week.
Like native-born women, immigrant women are less often employed than their male counterparts. But the difference between men and women is larger for immigrants. Immigrant women can be said to have a double “handicap” in the labour market: as immigrants, they have lower employment rates compared to non-immigrants and as women, lower employment rates compared to men.

Further reading


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