4 Sep 2014

OECD warns of weak job recovery

3:51 pm on 4 September 2014

The club of rich nations has warned unemployment remains well above levels before the global financial crisis and only modest declines are expected.

The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is predicting that unemployment will fall from 7.4 percent in mid-2014 to 7.1 percent at the end of 2015.

Wage growth has also slowed, with many workers stuck in unstable, temporary jobs with no career progression.

OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria said reforms to boost labour mobility, improve access to training and increase protections for temporary workers are urgently needed.

"They are the only ones that will allow us to go into high productivity. Absolute demand will allow us to pick up the growth."

Almost 45 million people are out of work in OECD countries, more than 12 million more than just before the financial crisis.

Globally, an estimated 202 million people are unemployed, with many more in low-paid and precarious jobs.

New Zealand created 82,000 jobs in the year to June - its fastest rate in a decade. Unemployment is at 5.6 percent, or 137,000, and is the lowest level since March 2009.

New Zealand now has the 9th lowest unemployment rate in the OECD. Australia's unemployment rate has widened to 6.4 percent.

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