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NEWS BRIEF

Country roundup

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Sweden should promote quality practical training to help young people into work, according to a new OECD report. www.oecd.org/sweden/

The post-crisis recovery in entrepreneurial activity remains mixed across countries, but new OECD data provides tentative signs of a turning point, with trends in enterprise creation rates pointing upwards in most economies. A revival in entrepreneurial activity could help improve economic growth and provide an important longer-term boost to productivity, given the positive link between start-up rates and productivity growth.

Finland could do more to help vulnerable laid-off workers, through access to more intensive employment services before and after dismissal. www.oecd.org/finland/ Asia-Pacific countries should strengthen their health systems and sharply increase spending to deliver effective universal coverage in order to meet the changing needs of their fast ageing populations. www.oecd.org/dev/asia-pacific/ Malaysia’s economy has proven resilient, but more can be done to boost innovation, raise productivity and inclusive growth, according to two new reports from the OECD. See also page 52. www.oecd.org/countries/malaysia/ Lifting many of the regulations stifling business competition in Greece would benefit both consumers, through lower prices, and firms, via higher turnover. www.oecd.org/greece/ Empowering the 40% of young Latin Americans not in formal jobs, education or training could spark new growth engines, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook. www.oecd.org/dev/americas/ Slovenia has implemented important and difficult labour market and pension reforms

©OECD/Hervé Cortinat

Hungary has become the 30th member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the leading international forum for bilateral providers of development co-operation. www.oecd.org/hungary/

On 22 November the president of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker visited the OECD, where he talked about inclusive growth and justice.

in response to the global financial crisis, but more is needed. www.oecd.org/slovenia/ Panama signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, making it the 105th jurisdiction to do so, the aim being to boost transparency and combat cross-border tax evasion. www.oecd.org/countries/panama/ Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries need structural reforms to spur trade, investment, jobs and trust, the 2016 MENA-OECD Ministerial Meeting agreed. www.oecd.org/mena/ Latvia has successfully consolidated its hospital sector and strengthened primary care since the financial crisis, and barriers to high quality care must now be removed, says a new OECD report. www.oecd.org/latvia/

Consumer prices, selected areas in Korea to 4%, and remaining at 7% in Canada. The OECD-area employment rate increased to 66.9% in the second quarter of 2016, thus continuing the recovery since early 2011, although at a slower pace than in the three previous quarters. In the euro area, the employment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 65.3%, the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth.

September 2016, % change on the same month of the previous year % OECD total 3.0 2.0 1.2 1.0 0.0 -1.0 -2.0 -3.0 -4.0 -5.0

1.8

All items Food Energy

-0.4

All items non-food, non-energy

-2.8

See www.oecd.org/industry/ Young people who leave school at 16 with low skills are facing increasing challenges in finding a job, and their chances may not improve even if the economy picks up, according to a new OECD report. Governments must ensure that young people obtain at least an upper-secondary qualification or gain vocational skills. See also page 58. See www.oecd.org/social/ The share of the public holding antiimmigration views has grown, driven by concerns that borders are insecure, immigrants stretch local services and some do not want to integrate. The 2016 International Migration Outlook stresses that systematic and co-ordinated action is needed to vigorously address antiimmigration backlash. See www.oecd.org/migration/

Plus ça change… Economic comment periodically expresses the fear that innovation may breed lasting unemployment. The fear has yet to be borne out, even though blacksmiths and grooms have had to give way to bus drivers and garage hands. What has mattered, to date, has been the speed with which new skills were learned and the degree of compassion (not protectionism) that society has accorded to those too old to learn. Countries which have willingly embraced new technology and high investment have found that a good recipe for rising living standards and low unemployment. “What threatens jobs?”, in Issue No 115, March 1982

OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016

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OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016  
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