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Report IV

Employment and social protection in the new demographic context

The changing age structure of the population raises issues of possible shortages in labour supply and skills, productivity and innovation and the provision of adequate social protection and other services for an increasingly ageing population. The report analyses these implications and the policy directions that are being developed and debated.

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5 April 2013

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The changing age structure of the population has potentially significant implications for economic development, labour markets and well-being in different development contexts. It raises issues of possible shortages in labour supply and skills, productivity and innovation and the provision of adequate social protection and other services for an increasingly ageing population. The report analyses these implications and the policy directions that are being developed and debated, especially in industrialized countries which are at a more advanced stage of this demographic transition. It also discusses the challenges of demographic transitions in developing countries. They have to prepare for population ageing while they experience a deep crisis of decent and productive employment opportunities including for young women and men, and high levels of poverty and informality.

The report argues that tackling the challenges posed by this demographic transition is not insurmountable. It demonstrates that demographic change should be addressed from an integrated and longer-term perspective. Possible policy directions need to take into account the complementarities between employment and social protection policies for all age groups spanned over the life cycle. They should build upon inter-generational solidarity and cooperation amongst countries. The report also shows that consideration of policy options to deal with structural trends such as ageing should not be guided by the short-term and cyclical perspective imposed by the crisis.

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