Those different labour markets

In its Economic Outlook, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has drawn some wonderful charts showing that “in most countries, the changes observed during the current recession are quite different from those observed in past major recessions”. (webcast here.)

They take a while to understand but show generally that output has fallen further in this recession but employment has not. The US is a huge exception to this rule. While Krishna, Ralph and I have written about these trends, these charts show the comparisons with past recession better than any others I have seen.

The OECD’s conclusion is the recoveries will look very different too:

“In those countries in which there have been unusually large employment losses, but only a normal downturn in hours worked, relatively fast employment growth in the recovery might be expected. However, in countries in which there has been an unusually large downward adjustment in hours, but relatively little employment adjustment, employment growth will likely be more subdued as activity recovers.”

Enjoy the charts below.

The first relates employment to output:

The second compares employment and hours.

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