Previous Job Strategies
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 first 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 Reassessed Jobs Strategy, adopted in 2006, validated the overall policy guidance provided by the original strategy, while adapting it to better reflect new insights in the ways that labour market policies and institutions affect economic and social outcomes, as well as new policy priorities. A notable innovation in the Reassessed Jobs Strategy was the recommendation that governments combine measures to achieve high employment rates with policies to foster high job quality (“more and better jobs”). The Reassessed Jobs Strategy also placed greater emphasis on interactions between different policies and institutions, and hence the importance of combining reforms into coherent packages. The restated Jobs Strategy was presented to a High-level forum of Employment and Labour Ministers in Toronto in June 2006.