Unemployment still high

Long-term unemployment a particular concern

The OECD’s latest Employment Outlook released Thursday 15 September says that in mid 2011 the number of unemployed people in the OECD area had declined to just over 44 million, still more than 13 million higher than immediately before the crisis.

In the US, the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for more than a year reached a record high of over 30%. In Spain such long-term unemployment exceeds 40%.

Youth unemployment is also a grave problem. In the first quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 was 17.4% in the OECD area, compared with 7% for adults aged 25 and over. Targeting youth will reduce the risk of young people falling into long-term unemployment and losing touch with the job market.

Effective labour market policies can make a difference, the report says. Some OECD countries, including Australia, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands have managed to contain the increase in unemployment. Germany has actually reduced unemployment during the crisis, and was the only major economy where long-term unemployment has fallen.

Income support for the unemployed should be maintained or even reinforced where assistance is relatively low, difficult to access and where the long-term unemployed face a serious risk of falling into poverty and exclusion, the OECD says, warning that it is essential to combine income support with re-employment programmes to prevent people becoming dependent on benefits.

For more detail, see here

Read remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD

©OECD Observer September 2011




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • In the run-up to the annual OECD Eurasia Week in Almaty, Kazakhstan 23-25 October, The Astana Times has run an article by Secretary-General Gurría. He urges Eurasia countries* to stay the course on openness and international integration which has brought prosperity but also disillusionment and inequality. He argues that economic policy can be shaped for greater inclusiveness, and that Eurasia’s continued participation in multilateral mechanisms strengthens fairness and better practices in the global business eco-system. The OECD is working with this region to make trade easier and diversify economic activity. It is also encouraging Eurasia to focus on human capital and innovation by boosting people’s learning and improving infrastructure and connectivity for better productivity and people’s well-being. *"Eurasia" here refers to the countries participating in the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
  • When someone asks me to describe an ideal girl, in my head, she is a person who is physically and mentally independent, brave to speak her mind, treated with respect just like she treats others, and inspiring to herself and others. But I know that the reality is still so much different. By Alda, 18, on International Day of the Girl. Read more.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017