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OECD Employment Outlook 2019

The 2019 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook presents new evidence on changes in job stability, underemployment and the share of well-paid jobs, and discusses the policy implications of these changes with respect to how technology, globalisation, population ageing, and other megatrends are transforming the labour market in OECD countries.

The world is changing at lightning speed. Digitalisation, globalisation and demographic changes are having a profound impact on our lives, on our cultures, on our societies. These and other megatrends are constantly (and rapidly) transforming the way we interact with our friends and families; how and where businesses operate; what goods and services we consume; what dreams we dream. Our education and health, the distribution of income and wealth, the jobs we have and how we work are all particularly sensitive to these changes. It is a transformational era. Disruption is the new normal.

As any revolution, this one is charged with opportunities. Multilateral co-operation, regional integration and the complex global interdependence that have developed over the past decades, have multiplied these opportunities. The new technologies are game-changers, but now they are also part of our daily lives. More and more people and devices are connecting to the internet, while artificial intelligence is silently spreading. Blockchain and other technologies are also becoming more prevalent across economies and societies. This is amplifying our capacity to promote higher productivity growth, better services, improved well-being; it also allows for new business models and innovative ways of working to emerge, providing more flexibility to both employers and workers.

Key facts from this report:

  • The world has become more integrated – exports and imports have increased, on average, from 23% and 27% of GDP in 1975 to 43% and 40% in 2017. 
  • 40% of jobs created between 2005 and 2016 were in digitally intensive sectors.
  • While just over 60% of high-skill workers take part in training, only about 20% of low-skill workers do.
  • Platform work as a person’s main job is still limited, involving only 0.5-3% of the workforce in OECD countries.
  • While just over 60% of high-skill workers take part in training, only about 20% of low-skill workers do.
  • Union membership in the OECD dropped to 16% of workers in 2016, from 30% in 1985.
  • About 14% of jobs in OECD countries are highly automatable and another 32% will be radically transformed by technological progress.

oecd employment