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OECD calls for structural changes to employment problems

Short-term economic boost will encourage job growth, says agency

OECD calls for structural changes to employment problems

Paris, May 30 - Countries such as Italy must do much more to boost employment among young people, or risk forever losing their contributions to the economy, the OECD warned Thursday. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development noted that the jobless rate is rising in Italy and across Europe, and said that the longer this problem continues, the worse it will get. Governments must act fast to boost employment for people between ages 15 and 24, as well as devise answers to the structural employment problems in their economies, said the OECD. The longer-term solutions will likely involve reforms to education and training programs. The Paris-based agency said that in Italy, 21.5% of those under 25 years of age are out of work and not involved in education or training. Only three other countries have a larger problem: Greece and Spain, which have a 50% youth jobless rate, and Portugal with a 40% youth jobless rate. And the numbers don't capture the full impact, or "scarring" effect that could make it permanently hard for such people to ever find stable, skilled employment and thus, contribute fully to the economy, warned the OECD. photo: OECD chief Angel Gurria

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