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Having a job that matches one's aspirations and competencies and that pays adequate earnings is a universal aspiration of people around the globe. In general, the economic growth of the past fifteen years has gone in hand with an increase in employment and earnings
in most OECD and other major economies, but these accomplishments are being put to a serious test by the ongoing economic crisis. Further, earnings inequalities have increased in most OECD countries, some aspects of working conditions (e.g. involuntary
part‐time) have worsened, and having a job seems to provide less of a shield against the risk of poverty than in the past. Women, youth and older workers face relatively high job insecurity and weaker ties with the labour market. Even though employment
statistics generally meet high statistical standards, there is scope for improvement in several domains, as in the case of data on hours worked, earnings disparities and measurement of the quality of employment. While many international organisations have been active
in defining a measurement framework for assessing job quality, information gaps in this field are still very large, especially as far as official statistics are concerned.