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During an OECD Forum on jobs last week, Randstad launched the first edition of Flexibility@work, a new yearly report on flexible labour and employment. The research provides an overview of international employment trends in the flexible labour markets in Europe, Japan, and the US.
Ben Noteboom, CEO of Randstad, said the report “demonstrates that the way in which specific forms of flexible labour relations develop, depends on the specific demands of the various national labor markets, and therefore varies widely. These demands may be related to the need for innovation, the rise or decline in certain economic sectors, or the economic cycle, to name just a few possible influences.”
As the main finding the research indicates that flexible labour did not show growth in the past decade although there are mixed results. In Germany, for instance, the total amount of flexible labour increased from 22.5% in 2000 to 24.4% in 2012 whereas in Spain it fell from 50.2% to 39.9%.
The report emphasises the strong correlation between flexible labour and economic growth, particularly in respect to agency work and fixed-term contracts. Flexible labour is the first form of employment affected by the decline in labour demand in an economic crisis. But at the same time, companies first make use of flexible workers when the economy stabilises after a crisis.
The report calls on the need for appropriate regulation to establish an inclusive labour market. “Rules and regulations that apply to the use of different types of flexible contracts play an important role in the process of economic growth. Appropriate regulation helps to fight informal labour, improves transitions from unemployment to work and decreases social inequality by providing well regulated work for vulnerable employees,” it said.