Educational and Employment Trends in OECD Countries
The 2017 OECD Employment Outlook report links education, lifelong learning and research to labor market innovativeness, while pointing to the need to eliminate social inequalities.
A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.
The labor market continues to improve in the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as the employment rates return to pre-crisis levels, according to the annual report of OECD published in 2017. As this report brings home, the average employment rate of OECD countries was expected to attain 61.5% in the age group of 15-74 until the end of 2018, while rising from 60.9%. The latter was the average employment rate during the last three months of the year 2017.
However, it can be pointed out that individuals with low or average income levels need to face the fact that their salaries are not increasing and the number of job positions of average skills has decreased in recent years. The report describes how the processes of globalization and technological change have contributed to raising hundreds of millions out of poverty, but it also recognizes their down sides, which explain the current discontent. Major social strata are in a worse position, numerous OECD country citizens feel abandoned and a large number of individuals consider themselves to be underprivileged, as compared to recent past. In some countries, the real median income has not increased for more than 20 years.1
As this report argues, “[t]he impact of two megatrends, technological progress and globalization, on OECD labor markets over the past two decades leads on a dynamic process both of labor market polarization and de-industrialization”. In the future skills that workers need to recapture and which the report expects to make up for the above inequalities are the use of the new opportunities digitalization opens for innovation in learning infrastructures, such as “MOOCs (massive open online courses) and OER (open educational resources) are an important new resource on closing gaps in basic digital skills and on adequate investment in digital infrastructure.”
Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis
Edited by Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: The Open ministerial session: Governance for global transport connectivity, the International Transport Forum’s 2017 Summit on “Governance of Transport,” Leipzig, Germany, June 1, 2017 | © Courtesy of International Transport Forum/Flickr.
- The tax mix continues to shift towards to labor (social security contributions) and consumption taxes (these taxes are characterized by reverse progressivity), although normal VAT rates appear to have stabilized in 2016, with only one country (Greece) increasing its normal VAT rate, since “Greece continued its efforts to meet the fiscal targets under its third bailout program” (Tax Policy Reforms 2017: OECD and Selected Partner Economies). [↩]