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The OECD gives Spain the priority of boosting productivity

MADRID, 19 Abr.

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The OECD gives Spain the priority of boosting productivity


The increase in productivity represents one of the key elements to achieve continuous real increases in income in Spain and the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as noted this Friday by the secretary general of the think tank ' of advanced economies, Mathias Cormann.

In his speech at the 'Wake Up, Spain 2024!' event, organized by 'El Español', the Australian pointed out that OECD countries have only achieved "comparatively weak" productivity growth in recent decades, with an average annual productivity growth of only 0.5% in Spain.

"Boosting productivity growth is a key economic and social policy priority," said Cormann, who believes it is necessary to address skills imbalances, reduce regulatory barriers to the entry of new and innovative companies, address regional disparities, support the development and dissemination of new technologies and investing in infrastructure that improves productivity.

"Addressing persistent skills imbalances is a particular priority requirement for Spain," he warned, pointing out that the country must invest more and better in formal education and adult learning, "in lifelong learning", which requires reducing high rates of school dropouts, expand high-quality education and training, and promote a culture of lifelong learning.

In this sense, for the Secretary General of the OECD, the Spanish legislation on vocational education of March 2022 has the potential to help boost productivity by making vocational education and training more flexible and accessible, so the OECD will continue to monitor its impact in the future.

Likewise, Cormann believes that the introduction of individual learning plans in Spain, as in Canada or France, could also help equip more adults with the skills they need to be able to successfully take advantage of labor market opportunities, which can support productivity and strengthen labor market performance.

On the other hand, the Australian wanted to point out that the strength of the labor markets has been fundamental to maintaining global growth these years, which is also expected for next year.

In fact, Cormann has highlighted that total employment in the 38 OECD member countries was 3% higher in December 2023 than in December 2019, just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, while unemployment has decreased accordingly, although he recalled that the unemployment rate in Spain continues to be higher than in other OECD countries.

On the other hand, while the recent inflationary period caused a widespread fall in real wages, when inflation is now declining nominal wages are rising and their growth has turned positive in most OECD countries, with increases in 25 of the 35 countries with available data, including Spain.

In this sense, he has pointed out the effect of minimum wages in supporting the income of low-paid workers, pointing out that the real minimum wage in Spain, that is, the minimum wage adjusted for the impact of inflation, was this year 9% higher than in December 2019, in line with the average increase in real minimum wages in OECD countries.