13 November 2018
On the occasion of the 40th session of the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee on 7 and 8 November 2018, the TUAC called upon the OECD to focus on social inclusion and just transitions in the run-up to a Regional Policy Ministerial in Spring 2019 which among others aims at defining broad principles for rural and urban policy respectively.
TUAC welcomed the work done on the draft principles for rural and urban policy and urged OECD and its members to also the take into account the challenges faced by workers in the new labour market. As such, TUAC advised members to put emphasis on social inclusion as well as aligning the Committee’s work with the efforts already being done on the Future of work and on rising inequalities including clear references to social security and protection, skills and decent working conditions – not least for women and migrant workers. These efforts are pivotal if we are to ensure Just Transition.
According to a recent OECD report (OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance 2018), regional economic disparities within OECD countries have started to come down. They remain however at elevated levels. Furthermore, income and job opportunities remain concentrated in large cities and certain regions with unemployment rates differentiating by 6 percentage points within the OECD countries.
Fig. 1: Regional difference of unemployment rate, 2017
Large regions (TL2)
Source: OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance 2018
These disparities could be further worsened by the technological development. As such, another recent OECD report finds that the impact of digitalisation will further exacerbate regional differences as regions with a larger share of workers with tertiary education, a larger proportion of jobs in services or highly urbanised will be better off.
The developments clearly shows that inclusive growth requires dealing with inequalities across all spatial scales. TUAC remains committed to the work in order to ensure that Just Transition, social dialogue and inclusion takes place across different regions, rural and urban areas.
 OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regions-and-cities-at-a-glance-2018_reg_cit_glance-2018-en#page22
 Job Creation and Local Economic Development 2018, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/job-creation-and-local-economic-development-2018_9789264305342-en#page1