The OECD has today published its Employment Outlook 2012, and the group’s conclusions are not happy ones either for the global economy or for those who are out-of-work. The OECD, a group representing 30 developed countries, expects an unemployment rate of 7.7% among its members at the end of 2013, a relatively tiny improvement from the 7.9% unemployment rate at the end of May 2012.
The US unemployment rate currently stands at 8.2%, better than a worsening rate in the Eurozone, where the rate at the end of May was 11.1%. Among younger workers, the unemployment rate among all OECD countries is 16.2% and the US unemployment rate among the young is 17.3%. In Spain, unemployment among younger workers is 46.4% and in Greece the number is 44.4%, while Germany’s rate is 8.5%.
Long-term unemployment is also rising rapidly. In the OECD as a whole, 33.6% of the unemployed have been out of work for more than a year. That compares with 31.3% in the US, 48% in Germany, and 49.6% in Greece.
The OECD notes Germany’s high number of long-term unemployed but does not specify a cause:
Almost half of all unemployed people have been out of work for over a year and most of them for over two years. Long-term unemployment is highest among older workers and the low-skilled.
The OECD encourages re-employment services (job counseling) as a first line of support for unemployed workers, and it is here that the US falls short. Spending on counseling in the US has fallen by more than -50% since 2007, while unemployment benefits payments have risen by about 50%.
Workers’ share of national income has fallen from 66.1% in the early 1990s to 61.7% by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. That decline is largely due to increased productivity that has eliminated large numbers of unskilled or low-skilled jobs. A further result of productivity improvements is that the top 1% of earners saw their share of national incomes rise by 20% over the past 20 years, while those at the bottom of the skills scale saw wages fall.
More data from the OECD is available here.