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Labour Market

Structural Transformation in the OECD - Digitalisation, Deindustrialisation and the Future of Work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016
Abstract in English: 
In tandem with the diffusion of computer technologies, labour markets across the OECD have undergone rapid structural transformation. In this paper, we examine i) the impact of technological change on labour market outcomes since the computer revolution of the 1980s, and ii) recent developments in digital technology – including machine learning and robotics – and their potential impacts on the future of work. While it is evident that the composition of the workforce has shifted dramatically over recent decades, in part as a result of technological change, the impacts of digitalisation on the future of jobs are far from certain. On the one hand, accumulating anecdotal evidence shows that the potential scope of automation has expanded beyond routine work, making technological change potentially increasingly labour-saving: according to recent estimates 47 percent of US jobs are susceptible to automation over the forthcoming decades. On the other hand, there is evidence suggesting that digital technologies have not created many new jobs to replace old ones: an upper bound estimate is that around 0.5 percent of the US workforce is employed in digital industries that emerged throughout the 2000s. Nevertheless, at first approximation, there is no evidence to suggest that the computer revolution so far has reduced overall demand for jobs as technologically stagnant sectors of the economy – including health care, government and personal services – continue to create vast employment opportunities. Looking forward, however, we argue that as the potential scope of automation is expanding, many sectors that have been technologically stagnant in the past are likely to become technologically progressive in the future. While we should expect a future surge in productivity as a result, the question of whether gains from increases in productivity will be widely shared depends on policy responses.
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53
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Assessing the role of migration in European labour force growth by 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper presents the methodology as well as the results of the joint OECD-European Commission project Migration-Demography Database: A monitoring system of the demographic impact of migration and mobility. The objective of the project is to evaluate the contribution of migration to past and future labour market dynamics across EU and OECD countries. After assessing the role of migration over the last five to 10 years in shaping the occupational and educational composition of the labour force, this project looks at the potential contribution of migration to the labour force in a range of alternative scenarios. This paper presents the results from the second part of the project: it focuses on projections over the period 2015-2030, and aims at identifying the drivers of changes in working-age population and active population in European countries, and in particular the role of migration flows.
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38
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OECD Employment Outlook 2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 2018 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews labour market trends and prospects in OECD countries. Chapter 1 presents recent labour market developments. Wage growth remains sluggish due to low inflation expectations, weak productivity growth and adverse trends in low-pay jobs. Chapter 2 looks at the decline of the labour share and shows that this is partially related to the emergence of "superstar" firms, which invest massively in capital-intensive technologies. Chapter 3 investigates the role of collective bargaining institutions for labour market performance. Systems that co-ordinate wages across sectors are associated with better employment outcomes, but firm-level adjustments of sector-level agreements are sometimes required to avoid adverse effects on productivity. Chapter 4 examines the role of policy to facilitate the transition towards new jobs of workers who were dismissed for economic reasons, underlying the need of early interventions in the unemployment spell. Chapter 5 analyses jobseekers' access to unemployment benefits and shows that most jobseekers do not receive unemployment benefits and coverage has often been falling since the Great Recession. Chapter 6 investigates the reason why the gender gap in labour income increases over the working life, stressing the role of the lower professional mobility of women around childbirth.
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298
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The Long View: Scenarios for the World Economy to 2060

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper presents long-run economic projections for 46 countries, extending the short-run projections of the Spring 2018 OECD Economic Outlook. It first sets out a baseline scenario under the assumption that countries do not carry out institutional and policy reforms. This scenario is then used as a reference point to illustrate the potential impact of structural reforms in alternative scenarios, including better governance and educational attainment in the large emerging-market economies and competition-friendly product market and labour market reforms in OECD economies. Flexibility-enhancing labour market reforms not only boost living standards but, by raising the employment rate, also help alleviate fiscal pressures associated with population ageing. Another scenario illustrates the potential positive impact of linking the pensionable age to life expectancy on the participation rate of older workers, and in particular that of women. Additional scenarios illustrate the potential economic gains from raising public investment and spending more on research and development. A final ‘negative’ scenario shows how slipping back on trade liberalisation – returning to 1990 average tariff rates – might depress standards of living everywhere.
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51
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Boosting productivity and preparing for the future of work in Germany

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, August 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper reviews policies to strengthen Germany’s productivity growth and prepare for changes in labour markets brought about by new technologies. This paper also discusses how social protection and the bargaining framework should be reformed for the future of work. Germany enjoys a relatively high labour productivity level but productivity growth has been modest in recent years. There is room to boost productivity growth by accelerating the diffusion of new technologies throughout the economy. Vigorous entrepreneurship and innovation by small and medium enterprises are key for such technology diffusion while strong broadband and mobile networks widen the scope of data-intensive technologies that can be exploited to increase productivity. Widespread use of new technologies will bring about significant changes in skill demand and work arrangements. As in many countries, Germany saw a decline in the share of middle-skilled jobs in employment. A relatively high share of jobs is expected to be automated or undergo significant changes in task contents as a result of technological change. New technologies are also likely to increase individuals engaging in new forms of work, such as gig work intermediated by digital platforms. Such workers are less covered by public social safety nets such as unemployment insurance than regular employment.
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39
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Another lost decade? Building a skills system for the economy of the 2030s

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The UK economy is set to undergo significant change in the coming years. The impact of rapidly advancing technology, an ageing population and exiting the EU will leave our economy looking very different by 2030. Having an effectively functioning adult skills system will be crucial if we are to manage the impact of these trends, to shape them and to turn them to our advantage. However, there is serious cause for concern that our adult skills system is not fit for purpose today, let alone fit to face the challenges ahead. In this report, we set out an approach to adult skills that would better meet the needs of learners, employers and the economy in the future.
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94
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Migration in the 2030 Agenda

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and migration features prominently in this Agenda.
The purpose of this collection of papers is first of all to draw attention to the many dimensions of the migratory experience covered by the SDGs and secondly, to offer practical suggestions as to how these aspects of migration can be addressed effectively during the implementation process.
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156
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Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform—a development that has sparked much public concern.
This report assesses the number and types of jobs that might be created under different scenarios through 2030 and compares that to the jobs that could be lost to automation.
The results reveal a rich mosaic of potential shifts in occupations in the years ahead, with important implications for workforce skills and wages. Our key finding is that while there may be enough work to maintain full employment to 2030 under most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging—matching or even exceeding the scale of shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing we have seen in the past.
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160
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Skill Shift: Automation an the Future of the Workforce

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of work. In this discussion paper, part of our ongoing research on the impact of technology on the economy, business, and society, we present new findings on the coming shifts in demand for workforce skills and how work is organized within companies, as people increasingly interact with machines in the workplace. We quantify time spent on 25 core workplace skills today and in the future for the United States and five European countries, with a particular focus on five sectors: banking and insurance, energy and mining, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
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84
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World Trade Report 2017

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The World Trade Report is an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.
The 2017 World Trade Report examines how technology and trade affect employment and wages. It analyses the challenges for workers and firms in adjusting to changes in labour markets, and how governments can facilitate such adjustment to increase the positive impact of open trade and technological progress.
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190
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