“For one thing, while mass unemployment was the key issue 10 years ago, the challenge is now to expand employment and incomes”, Mr Gurría said. At the same time, some 35% of the OECD working-age population do not have a job, while the task of promoting employment is more urgent in light of globalisation and rapid technological change. “What is needed today is more and betterpaid jobs”, the secretary-general summed up.
Policies that targeted old people, women and youth would pay off, as would measures to ensure that workers had the right skills. Apart from the need for a competitive open economic environment, there was no single way to boost employment: a lower cost US-style approach or more regulated Nordic-style approach each had advantages. However, a key ingredient, whatever the option, was political will.
©OECD Observer No 257, October 2006