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Social and welfare issues


  • 15-November-2022

    English

    Swimming skills around the world - Evidence on inequalities in life skills across and within countries

    Being able to swim empowers individuals to make choices, have agency, and be free to choose core aspects of their life, such as working safely on or near water. It is also associated with lifelong health benefits and reduces the risk of drowning. Using data from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll 2019, this paper provides the first global estimates of adults’ ability to swim without assistance. Individuals in high-income countries are considerably more likely to report being able to swim without assistance than individuals in low-income countries. Disparities also exist within countries. In particular, women are less likely to be able to swim without assistance than men in virtually all countries, birth cohorts, and levels of education. Investing in reducing inequalities in life skills, such as swimming, can foster economic development and empowerment, especially in light of threats, such as climate change.
  • 24-September-2021

    English

    Preparing for the Future of Work Across Australia

    COVID-19 is likely to leave long-lasting effects on local labour markets. It is accelerating a pre-existing trend towards automation, as firms look even more to new technologies to pandemic proof their operations. While automation offers the opportunity to boost productivity, it can also lead to job polarisation as vulnerable workers who lose their jobs may not have the skills needed in a changing labour market. This OECD report examines the potential impacts of automation on people and places across Australia. It also sheds light on policies and programmes that can help regions and cities to prepare for the future of work.
  • 22-December-2020

    English

    How reliable are social safety nets? - Value and accessibility in situations of acute economic need

    Social protection systems use a range of entitlement criteria. First-tier support typically requires contributions or past employment in many countries, while safety net benefits are granted on the basis of need. In a context of volatile and uncertain labour markets, careful and continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of income support is a key input into an evidence-based policy process. This paper proposes a novel empirical method for monitoring the accessibility and levels of safety net benefits. It focusses on minimum-income benefits (MIB) and other non-contributory transfers and relies on data on the amounts of cash support that individuals in need receive in practice. Results show that accessibility and benefit levels differ enormously across countries – for instance, in 2015/16, more than four out of five low-income workless one-person households received MIB in Australia, France and the United Kingdom, compared to only one in five in Greece, Italy and Korea, three countries that have since sought to strengthen aspects of safety-net provisions.
  • 10-April-2019

    English, PDF, 364kb

    The Squeezed Middle Class - How does Australia compare?

    This country fact-sheet presents key figures from "Under Pressure: The Squeezed Middle Class". This report analyses the trends of middle-income households in areas such as employment, consumption, wealth and debt, as well as perceptions and social attitudes. It also includes recommendations for protecting middle-class living standards and financial security in the face of economic challenges.

  • 9-March-2017

    English

    Australia should help more women and other underemployed groups into work

    Australia’s strong economy has helped drive a healthy job market. But to avoid a future shortage of labour as the population ages, further efforts are needed to help older women, indigenous Australians and mothers with young children into work, according to a new OECD report.

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  • 12-September-2016

    English

    Investing in Youth: Australia

    The present report on Australia is part of the series on 'Investing in Youth', which builds on the expertise of the OECD on youth employment, social support and skills. This series covers both OECD countries and countries in the process of accession to the OECD, as well as some emerging economies. The report provides a detailed diagnosis of youth policies in the area of education, training, social and employment policies. Its main focus is on disengaged or at-risk of disengaged youth.
  • 12-September-2016

    English

    Australia should improve the quality of vocational education and training to help young people into work

    Australia should follow up on the reform of its vocational education system by improving quality control in the VET sector and step up career guidance for young people to boost young people’s job prospects and reduce the share of under-30-year-olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs), according to a new OECD report.

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  • 7-April-2016

    English

    Back to Work: Australia - Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers

    Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the fourth in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that many displaced workers get new jobs relatively quickly in Australia, mostly thanks to a flexible and dynamic labour market. A small minority of displaced workers receive special support via the labour adjustment programmes, but some displaced workers who would need specific assistance, in particular in the older worker and/or low-educated groups, do not get sufficient support or only too late. There is room to improve policies by moving away from the current sectoral approach to special assistance programmes for workers collectively dismissed, towards an approach covering all sectors of the economy, with the intensity of intervention tailored to the circumstances and needs of the displaced workers. Expanding the training component for displaced workers and making use of skills assessment and training to better target the training and enhance its effectiveness would also help displaced workers transition to sustainable jobs of a certain quality.
  • 7-December-2015

    English

    Australia should build on the mental health reform to strengthen employment outcomes of people with mental health issues

    The recent mental health reform is an important step towards better services for people with mental ill-health, but Australia needs to do more to help people with mild to moderate mental health issues at and into work, according to a new OECD report.

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  • 16-November-2014

    English

    G20: OECD to help monitor growth and gender commitments

    Leaders of the G20 countries meeting at their Summit in Brisbane, Australia, have called on the OECD and IMF to monitor their commitment to boost economic growth and create jobs.

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