OECD workshop on the Future of Local Employment Services



 Thursday 22 October, 2020 | 15:00 – 16:30 CEST (Paris time) via Zoom

What's the issue?

COVID-19 is causing unemployment to spike across the OECD. The average OECD unemployment rate is estimated to reach 9.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 if there is no second wave of the virus, up from 5.3% at the end of 2019. In the case of a second outbreak, it could reach 12.6%. A second wave could hit businesses and households even harder, as many are still recovering from the first wave. And the recovery will not be rapid, with unemployment remaining at 7.7% at the end of 2021, or 8.9% if there is a second wave.

Employment services are playing an important role in keeping labour markets functioning during COVID-19. To fulfil this challenging role, they need to be agile, quickly adapt to the new situation and adjust their response frequently and flexibly to respond to unpredictable developments. Many local employment services are facing an unparalleled inflow of new jobseekers, but cannot meet with their clients in person due to confinement restrictions. At the same time, the number of job offers is shrinking in many sectors, leaving employment services with fewer vacancies to propose. Some sectors, such as medical services and agriculture are confronted with severe labour shortages.

Digital services are a key element of the short-and medium-term response by local employment services in light of COVID-19. Those that had digital tools in place prior to the pandemic outbreak are in a better situation now: the process for benefit applications can remain unchanged and support to jobseekers via distant communication can continue without interruption. Other employment services have set-up alternatives, such as call centres.

This webinar will discuss how the functioning of local employment services has changed in light of COVID-19 and what the future may look like. It will provide an opportunity to learn about the experience of employment services across regions and cities in the OECD, while also hearing from a number of top thinkers and practitioners about threats and opportunities facing employment services going forward with a particular focus on the role and set-up of local employment services.


Access the agenda



[email protected]


[email protected] 




This webinar is organised in collaboration with the World Association of Public Employment Services: 


Webinar Highlights & Replay



Click here to access the Future of Local Employment Services: Local Labour Market Context With Covid-19 PowerPoint presentation delivered by Karen Maguire



Karen Maguire

Head of Division, Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division,  OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

Jonathan Barr (Moderator)

Deputy Head of Division, Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division and Head of Unit, Employment and Skills, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities


Eve-Marie Mosseray

Executive Secretary, World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES)


Murielle Antille ‌

SVP, Head of Government Affairs at Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) and Chair of the World Employment Confederation (WEC) Career Management Group

Scott Eychner

Administrator, Workforce Services for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, United States 

Stephan Heuke

Deputy Director for International Affairs, Federal Employment Agency Germany (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) 




Annette Gill

Principal Policy Advisory, National Employment Services Association, Australia ‌





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