Employment policies and data

Boosting Jobs and Incomes: The OECD Jobs Strategy


Policy Lessons from the Reassessment of the OECD Jobs Strategy

2006 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook

Main related OECD reports

In response to high and persistent unemployment in many OECD countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the OECD undertook a major study of the factors underlying the deterioration of labour market performance.

The resulting diagnosis was published in 1994 as the OECD Jobs Study.

The policy recommendations were designed to improve the ability of economies and of societies “to adapt rapidly and innovatively to a world of rapid structural changes”. The policy guidelines covered nine broad areas, including macroeconomic policy, creation and diffusion of innovation, entrepreneurial climate, and labour-force skill development. They also addressed various aspects of labour-market policies and institutions, notably labour market regulations, wage-setting institutions and unemployment benefit systems.

In 1995, a tenth policy area was added which recommended policies to promote product market competition. Together, these ten broad policy guidelines, which are backed up by almost 70 detailed policy recommendations, constitute the so-called OECD Jobs Strategy.

In 2003, a meeting of OECD Labour and Employment Ministers concluded that, nearly ten years after the original formulation of the Jobs Strategy, it was timely to take stock of whether the policy recommendations it contained have proved effective and how they might need to be revised or extended to respond to new challenges. Accordingly, the 2006 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook provides an overall reassessment of the OECD Jobs Strategy.
The restated Jobs Strategy has been presented to a High-level forum of Employment and Labour Ministers in Toronto in June 2006, which welcomed it as a good basis for formulating policy.