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Employment quality in the OECD Better Life Initiative Anne Saint-Martin Meeting of the Group of Experts on Measuring Quality of Employment 11-13 September.

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Presentation on theme: "Employment quality in the OECD Better Life Initiative Anne Saint-Martin Meeting of the Group of Experts on Measuring Quality of Employment 11-13 September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment quality in the OECD Better Life Initiative Anne Saint-Martin Meeting of the Group of Experts on Measuring Quality of Employment September 2013, Geneva

2 The two main pillars of the OECD Better life Initiatives 1.Hows Life?: a new OECD publication on well-being (published every two years) –Defines an operational framework for measuring well-being –Three main areas: material living conditions, quality of life and sustainability –Puts the emphasis on households and individuals –Concentrates on well-being outcomes, rather than on well-being drivers –Looks at the distribution of well-being across individuals –Considers both objective and subjective aspects of well-being. The OECD Better Life Initiative (1)

3 The framework considers 11 dimensions for measuring current well-being: Under material living conditions (3): Income and wealth; Jobs and earnings; and Housing. Under quality of life (7): Health status; Work-life balance; Education and skills; Civic engagement and governance; Social connections; Environmental quality; Personal security; and Subjective well-being. 2. The OECD better life index Cross-country comparisons on the 11 dimensions of peoples well-being No synthetic index of well-being Interactive tool on a dedicated website, where people can construct their own synthetic index by choosing the weights they want to give to each dimension, and then, can compare their country to other OECD countries The OECD Better Life Initiative (2)

4 Two dimensions of the HsL? framework are directly related to employment quality: Material conditions: Jobs and earnings Quality of life: Work-life balance Main criteria for selection of indicators: Focus on summary outcomes (such as good health status) that can be easily understood Are commonly used and accepted as well-being indicators within the statistical and academic communities Ensure comparability across countries Ensure maximum country coverage Are collected through a recurrent instrument, i.e. are updated on a regular basis Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (1)

5 Headline indicators (6): satisfy most selection criteria Jobs and earnings: employment rate; long-term unemployment; average gross annual earnings of full-time employees Work-life balance: long working hours; time for leisure and personal care; employment rate of mothers with children under school-age Secondary indicators (5): satisfy several selection criteria but not all Jobs and earnings: involuntary part-time employment; employees working on temporary contracts Work-life balance: commuting time; satisfaction with allocation of time; work accidents. Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (2)

6 As compared to existing frameworks for measuring employment quality, very limited number of indicators. HsL? framework is an outcome-based framework for measuring peoples well-being, not a comprehensive framework for measuring employment quality Additional aspects that could also be considered in the HsL? framework: –Material conditions: role of employment-related social protection –Quality of life: role of workplace relationships and work organisation Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (3)

7 Difficulties in measuring the well-being outcomes of employment related social protection an example with employment protection legislation (EPL) Summary outcome of EPL: job (in)security Indicators most commonly used : share of temporary workers, share of workers with long job tenure, share of workers with short job tenure Indicator retained in HsL?: share of temporary workers –Pros: obvious link with job insecurity as by definition, temporary contracts do not provide any guarantees as regards the continuation of the employment relationship –Cons: incomplete measure of job insecurity, notably in countries where regular employment is strongly protected Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (4)

8 Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (5)

9 Employment-related social protection: driver of well-being or well- being outcome? An example with unemployment insurance (UI) systems In a context of high and increasing job instability: Current earnings may not adequately reflect the monetary benefits of having a job if workers are concerned about their future as well as their current material conditions Over peoples working life, UI benefits can be seen as a component of employment-related income, in addition to earnings. Therefore, UI benefits are not only a driver of well-being, but also an outcome variable But what could constitute a summary outcome of UI systems? Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (6)

10 Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (7)

11 Quality of life at work Work-life balance dimension of the HsL? Framework mainly focuses on the balance between time spent at work and time available for personal and family life Work may interfere with personal life through many channels, above and beyond time constraints The literature on occupational health provides strong empirical evidence on the link between, on the one hand, the quality of work organisation and workplace relationships, and on the other hand, workers health and well-being Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (8)

12 Basic premise: what matters for peoples well-being at work is the balance between the demands they face, and the resources they have at their disposal to meet these demands Job demands those aspects of the job that require sustained physical and psychological efforts Job resources those job attributes that may be conductive to personal accomplishment or that are instrumental in achieving work goals. Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (9)

13 Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (10)

14 Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (11)

15 Pending and difficult question: how to construct a summary measure of job strain that be allow comparisons across countries? Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (12)

16 Employment quality in the Hows life? Framework for measuring peoples well-being (13)

17 OECD project on Defining, measuring and assessing job quality and its links to labour market performance and well-being (13)

18 Timeframe: 2-year project, starting in Oct Joint project: Statistics Directorate and Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Key objectives of this project: Reassess labour market performance whilst taking explicitly account of job quality in addition to the quantity of jobs Provide a first attempt to examine the role of policies and institutions for the quality and quantity of job opportunities Main issue to deal with in this kind of analysis: multi-dimensionality of employment quality OECD project on Defining, measuring and assessing job quality and its links to labour market performance and well-being (1)

19 Focus on two broad aspects of employment quality employment- related material conditions and quality of life at work Measuring these outcome variables Composite indicator of economic security? Composite indicators of job strain? Composite indicators or small sets of outcome variables? Identifying the main determinants of these outcome variables Understanding the relationships between these determinants Cumulative effects? Compensating effects? OECD project on Defining, measuring and assessing job quality and its links to labour market performance and well-being (2)

20 Thank you!


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