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OECD Labor Market Study

Concerns that international trade and investment represent a growing threat to workers in OECD countries currently run very high. How many workers are losing their jobs as a result of rising imports or the “delocalisation” of jobs? Are trade-displaced workers able to move into new jobs which offer pay comparable to that on the jobs lost to international competition, or are these layoffs a pathway to long-term unemployment and chronic under-employment? How can governments best assist workers displaced by trade to re-integrate into the labour market? For example, should these workers be retrained for jobs in more dynamic industries? If the only jobs available to some job losers pay much less than their prior jobs, should a wage insurance scheme be set up to compensate them for a part of their lost earnings power?

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