Employment policies and data

OECD Employment Outlook 2006 Chapter 2. Labour Market Performance since 1994 and Future Challenges


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    ISBN: 9264023844
    Publication: 13/06/2006
    Pages: 280

Chapter 2. Labour Market Performance since 1994 and Future Challenges

How has labour market performance evolved since the OECD Jobs Strategy was first promulgated and what are the implications of this evolution for setting policy priorities? Since 1994, employment rates have increased in the majority of OECD countries, reflecting both a cut in unemployment rates and higher participation rates. Notwithstanding the favourable developments in most member countries, persistently high unemployment remains a serious problem in some countries, especially in Europe. Furthermore, progress has been uneven across the working-age population, being particularly limited for youth and less skilled workers. In some countries, the incidence of “working poverty” remains stubbornly high, showing little sign of declining even in periods of high employment growth. Further substantial increases in employment rates will be required to prevent population ageing from becoming a major drag on living standards.

For further reading, see the Key Reports on line and the  supplementary statistical material of this chapter.


1. Aggregate labour market performance
2. Labour market performance for particular groups
3. Trends in income distribution and working conditions since 1994
4. The current situation and future challenges


List of tables

2.1. Labour market performance in the OECD area, 1994-2004


List of figures    

2.1. Unemployment rates in OECD countries, 1994 and 2004
2.2. Employment and participation rates in OECD countries, 1994 and 2004
2.3. Labour productivity growth in OECD countries, 1984-2004 
2.4. Labour utilisation in OECD countries, 1994 and 2004      
2.5. Relative participation rates for particular groups, 1984-2004  
2.6. Relative unemployment rates for particular groups, 1984-2004  
2.7. Regional unemployment disparities in 1993 and 2003        
2.8. Gross earnings inequality in 1994 and 2003          
2.9. Household income inequality and relative poverty in 1994 and 2001  
2.10. Trends in job quality                      
2.11. Baseline projection of population ageing, 1994-2050


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