"Last week's employment outlook from the west's leading economic thinktank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said that globalisation had become a "potentially important source of vulnerability for workers", and that the past 25 years had not only seen labour's share of national income decline but also the distribution of income become more unequal.
Does it have to be this way? Not according to the OECD. "It has been claimed by some that only countries which emphasise market-oriented policies (characterised by limited welfare benefits and light regulation) may enjoy both successful employment performance and strong labour productivity growth simultaneously. This claim is not supported by the evidence, however."
It added that "other successful employment performers (which combine strong work incentives with generous welfare protection and well-designed regulation) had, on average over the past decade, similar GDP per capita growth to that recorded in more market-reliant countries". Both the minimum wage and family-friendly employment policies were good for productivity."