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The US Labour Market Recovery Following the Great Recession

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  • Wendy Dunn

    (OECD)

Abstract

Although job creation has improved, since the end of the 2007-08 recession, the effects of the recession on the labour market remain severe. Unemployment duration is still extremely high, and many have withdrawn from the labour market altogether. Because the weakness is largely cyclical in nature, policy makers should place a high priority on supporting aggregate demand in the short term. Even so, policies are needed to help individuals return to work, as there is a risk that high long-term unemployment and weak labour market participation could evolve into structural problems. Greater emphasis should be put on activation measures that help individuals search for jobs more effectively or find adequate training programmes. In the longer run, education and training are key to raising the skills and wages of the workforce. In this regard, educational reforms are needed to increase student achievement at all levels. High-quality vocational training can also be used to advance the skills of high-school graduates. College completion rates could be improved by reducing financial and other barriers to education, and enhancing the community college system would be a cost-effective way to provide more individuals with an affordable way to obtain tertiary education. Disability insurance reforms are needed to reduce dependency on these programmes and encourage participation in the workforce. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of the United States (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/United States). La reprise du marché du travail aux États-Unis après la grande récession Bien que la création d'emplois ait repris, les effets de la récession se font toujours sentir sur le marché du travail. La durée du chômage reste très élevée et beaucoup ont cessé de chercher un emploi. Compte tenu du caractère largement conjoncturel de cette situation difficile, les autorités devraient donner à court terme la priorité au soutien de la demande. Mais il faut également prendre des mesures pour faciliter le retour à l'emploi, car le risque existe que le niveau élevé du chômage de longue durée et la faiblesse du taux d’activité deviennent des problèmes structurels. Il convient de mettre davantage l’accent sur les mesures d’incitation à la reprise d’un travail afin d’aider les chômeurs à rechercher un emploi ou à trouver des programmes de formation adéquats. À plus long terme, l’éducation et la formation vont jouer un rôle-clé dans l’amélioration des compétences et des salaires de la main-d’oeuvre. C'est pourquoi des réformes du système éducatif s'imposent pour améliorer le taux de réussite à tous les niveaux d'études. Une formation professionnelle de qualité peut aussi permettre de développer les compétences des diplômés de l'enseignement secondaire. Réduire les obstacles financiers et autres qui empêchent l’accès à l’éducation serait un moyen d’augmenter les taux de réussite dans l'enseignement supérieur, et améliorer le système des community colleges permettrait, à un coût raisonnable, d’offrir à davantage de personnes la possibilité de suivre des études supérieures dans des conditions financièrement accessibles. Enfin, des réformes de l'assurance invalidité sont nécessaires pour diminuer la dépendance à l'égard de ce régime et encourager le retour sur le marché du travail. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE des États Unis 2012 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/Etats Unis).

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Dunn, 2013. "The US Labour Market Recovery Following the Great Recession," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1015, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1015-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k4ddxp3xlvf-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    activation policies; capital humain; chômage de longue durée; chômage structurel; création de l'emploi; disability; durée de chômage; formation professionnelle; hiring subsidies; human capital; invalidité; job creation; labour market participation; long-term unemployment; participation au marché du travail; politiques d'activation; structural unemployment; subventions à l'embauche; Unemployment duration; vocational training;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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