Long-term jobless risks becoming entrenched, warns OECD


PARIS: Long-term unemployment is becoming entrenched in many countries hit hard by the economic crisis and it will be harder to get these people back to work when recovery takes hold, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warned on Wednesday.

“Long-term unemployment has probably peaked in most countries, but it remains a major source of concern,” the OECD said in its annual report on employment trends.

In the 34 countries that make up the OECD area, a total of 16.3 million people—more than one in three of all unemployed—had been out of work for 12 months or more in the first quarter of 2014.

The number of long-term unemployed has nearly doubled (an increase of 85 percent) since 2007, before the eurozone debt crisis and the world financial downturn, the report said.

“For countries that saw the biggest increases, there is growing evidence that part of what was originally a cyclical increase in unemployment has become structural and will thus be more difficult to reverse during the economic recovery,” warned the Paris-based body.

The OECD also warned of a “marked” slowdown in wage growth in the eurozone, where there are currently fears of deflation.

The average annual wage growth rate plunged from 2.1 percent at the start of the crisis to -0.1 percent since 2009, the OECD said.

The report showed that in 2010, across a range of OECD countries, half of all workers saw the real value of their earnings fall. AFP


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