(15 June 2017) – The job market continues to improve but less for low and middle incomes, according to a new OECD report.
The job market continues to improve in the OECD area, with the employment rate finally returning to pre-crisis levels. But people on low and middle incomes have seen their wages stagnate and the share of middle-skilled jobs has fallen, contributing to rising inequality and concerns that top earners are getting a disproportionate share of the gains from economic growth.
Growing occupational polarisation has also contributed to rising discontent with globalisation, as those with lower or declining wages feel that the benefits from openness and interconnection are being reaped by a few.
But the OECD Employment Outlook 2017 reveals that more than trade integration, job polarisation has been driven by pervasive and skill-biased technological changes. Between 1995 and 2015, the middle-skill share of employment fell by 9.5% in the OECD area, while the shares of high- and low-skill occupations rose by 7.6% and 1.9%, respectively.