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Employment Outlook 2020 – Unemployment will remain high into 2021, more so should a second pandemic wave hit says OECD

Unemployment is projected to reach nearly 10% in OECD countries by the end of 2020, up from 5.3% at year-end 2019, and to go as high as 12% should a second pandemic wave hit. A jobs recovery is not expected until after 2021.

And now must keep up support while building resilience

  • Help those in need, while encouraging firms to move off subsidies and workers to shift to viable jobs
  • Ensure firms use public support effectively to keep or create jobs, training and retaining staff
  • Make labour markets resilient, by investing in people, health and the environment

RECIPROCITY AND RESPONSIBILITY:In both the short and the long-term, all parts of society need to contribute to this rehabilitation with sense of responsibility, in particular those who have received, or still receive, public support.All actors in the economy should play their role in rebuilding a better labour market. Reciprocity is needed between public support for struggling firms and industries and private sector support for effortsto help the unemployed return to work, boost employees’ skills and ensure no one is left behind in a recovery. This particularly applies to those firms that receive or have received job retention and other subsidies, but all firms must strive for the reconstruction of a dynamic labour market. Hiring and re-hiring, investment in new technologies and in training for the workforce, and/or continued participation in apprenticeship programmes should take a central role in corporate decisions. Time-limited hiring subsidies have proven quite effective at supporting job creation, notably in bad times,while minimising the administrative costs of monitoring eligibility requirements on take-up (e.g.by allowing recapturing credits when job creation goals are not met or considering refundable hiring credits, as done by certain US states during the global financial crisis).

A similar argument applies to individuals receiving income support. For example, a priority will be restoring the “mutual obligations” approach, in which governments commit to providing jobseekers with benefits and effective employment services and, in turn, beneficiaries have to take active steps to search for work or improve their employability. This is key to mobilise jobseekers to find viable jobs.

A comprehensive recovery plan should include, the expansion of cost-effective active labour market measures –such as counselling, job-search assistance, entrepreneurship programmes. Extending support for vocational education and training (VET) would also be crucial. As shown in this Employment Outlook, the transition from school to work of non-tertiary VET graduates remains much easier than that of their general-education peers. Yet, it is important to make sure that these programmes remain responsive to changing labour market needs.

Social dialogue and collective bargaining have a key role to play in enhancing the resilience of the labour market. When social partners work co-operatively, this flexibility and granularity could allow adapting and deploying more rapidly the required responses through tailor-made agreements and work re-organisations that are adjusted to meet each specific situation. In many countries, for example, collective bargaining and social dialogue have recently proved instrumental in ensuring safer workplaces. The guidelines and codes of good conduct established by social partners and the agreements signed between employers and trade unions in this area in various countries (e.g.Denmark, France, Italy and Spain) are excellent examples of how social dialogue and collective bargaining can be mobilised to complement public action and find flexible and tailored solutions for both companies and workers.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Employment Outlook 2020 | Facing the jobs crisis

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