OECD Employment Outlook — some intriguing data

The Financial Times noted today that the OECD’s recently released report on employment prospects in the developed world showed an uptick in unemployment through 2009, largely due to credit problems in the aftermath of the subprime lending crisis.

The full report, the OECD Employment Outlook 2008, is only available online to subscribers and journalists. One can review summaries, a limited selection of tables, as well as the Statistical Annex, which looks at trends in employment over the past several years.

Some of the data are intriguing, such as Table G, which shows the incidence of long-term unemployment as a percentage of total unemployment. For 2007, the data show that in Germany a whopping 56.6 percent of the jobless have been unemployed 12 months and over. That compares with only 10 percent in the U.S. In fact, Germany has a higher rate than the Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Portugal, among others. The country with the lowest rate of long-term unemployed is Korea, at 0.6 percent for 2007. And that’s not an anomaly; since 2004 that rate has been either below or slightly higher than 1 percent.

The data in Chapter 5 were compiled in response to the question: Do multinationals promote better pay and working conditions? The answer was “yes,” or in the words of the report:

The evidence suggests that MNEs [multinational enterprises] tend to provide better pay and working conditions than their domestic counterparts, especially when they operate in developing and emerging economies . . .

So much for the “race to the bottom” that anti-globalization activists mouth.