Tight labour markets and a shortage of workers have been a defining characteristic across much of the OECD in the past year: in June 2022, OECD countries registered an overall net gain of over 9 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels. In the US, more than 11 million job vacancies were posted in July 2022, against a pool of less than 6 million unemployed.
However, there are significant variations across countries and groups. Labour force participation and employment rates remain below pre-crisis levels in some countries, as does employment in low-pay and low-skilled jobs. Wage growth is struggling to keep pace with price rises. The result? Vulnerable households, already lagging behind in the recovery, are facing the biggest erosion of their real incomes.