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Business

Job squeeze is here to stay, says OECD

Joblessness in industrialized economies will remain high for at least the next one and a half years, the OECD claims in its Employment Outlook. It's particularly worried about persistent youth unemployment.

The average jobless rate in the 34-countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will remain alarmingly high until at least the end of 2013, the OECD reported in its latest Employment Outlook on Tuesday.

It said the unemployment rate would be stuck at 7.7 percent, close to this May's 7.9 percent, leaving some 48 million people out of work.

"It's imperative that governments use every possible means at their disposal to help job seekers by removing barriers to job creation and investing in education and skills," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in a statement.

Technology versus human beings?

Gurria added that advanced countries needed to tackle the job shortage with appropriate macroeconomic policies, including additional steps to stabilize Europe's banking sector.

The OECD was particularly concerned at the rising number of young job seekers, stating that youth employment in member countries had declined by 7.0 percent since the start of the 2008 recession. Low-skilled employment dropped by almost 5.0 percent over the same period.

The Paris-based think tank also pointed to the steady rise in temporary employment as firms had become increasingly reluctant to rehire workers on open-ended contracts, given the uncertain economic outlook. The OECD called for further investment in training to equip workers to win "the race against the machine."

hg/msh (Reuters, dpa)