World Economy

OECD Stresses Job Quality

OECD Stresses Job Quality  OECD Stresses Job Quality

Good pay, labor market security and a decent working environment can go hand in hand with high employment, according to new OECD findings on the quality of jobs in 45 countries.

The measures released Saturday in a new database on job quality (key findings) look at the individual experience of people at work, an OECD report says.

Rather than concentrating on the drivers of job quality such as compliance with standards and regulations, the OECD focuses on the outcomes for workers in three broad areas that are most important for their well-being: earnings quality, labor market security and the quality of the working environment.

Having a job is not just about money. What is the nature and content of the work? How much pressure does it involve?  Working-time arrangements, workplace relationships, opportunities for training and work-life balance are also important factors.

The database shows that job quality is the highest in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxemburg, Norway, and Switzerland. These countries are performing relatively well along at least two of the three dimensions of job quality. However, relatively low job quality is found in Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain and Turkey.

 Job Quality

A comprehensive assessment of how the crisis affected job quality requires all three dimensions need to be considered together. Germany, for instance, not only experienced an increase in employment rates, but also a general improvement in all aspects of job quality.

Greece, however, experienced both a sharp rise in unemployment and a fall in earnings quality and labor market security (while the incidence of job strain remained stable).

In the United Kingdom, where employment is almost back to pre-crisis levels, earnings quality decreased over the period while labor market security only fell slightly. The quality of the working environment was unaffected.

In other OECD countries, the effects of the crisis were more mixed. In Portugal, earnings quality stagnated and labor market security fell considerably, while quality of the working environment improved for those people still employed.

In Sweden earnings quality improved but labor market security decreased and the quality of the working environment worsened.

The OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurria said: “Job quality is not only important to workers’ well-being, but also to the overall productivity of a firm.

“This is now understood at the highest political levels. The leaders of the G20 countries agreed last year not just to prioritize creating more jobs, but to ensure they are quality jobs.

And just a few weeks ago, the labor ministers gave a strong mandate to the OECD to design policies to improve all aspects of job quality–job security, earnings quality and the quality of our working environment. This will be a major pillar of the revised jobs strategy the OECD is currently working on”.