Rise in female workers suppressing wages, says OECD

A rise in the employment rate for women since 2008 is holding back wage growth globally, the OECD has told the BBC.

Chief economist Catherine Mann said women were paid less in general, while male employment rates remained weak, and that this had skewed the figures.

She also blamed poor productivity and workers and unions for putting more emphasis on job security than wages.

The think tank has raised its outlook for global growth for 2018 from 3.6% to 3.7%.

Ms Mann told the BBC World Service: "Employment rates for women have grown faster and are above where they were in 2008, but employment rates for men have not even gotten back to where they were.

"That [must be seen] in conjunction with what we know about women's wages - that women are paid less than men.

"You've got more women employed, as compared to men, so the algebra works out to be a downward pressure on wage growth."

Eurozone recovery

According to the OECD, the world's major economies are performing better as the eurozone catches up with US.

The Paris-based think tank raised its outlook for eurozone growth this year to 2.1%, up from 1.8% the last time it issued forecasts in June.

That put it on a par with the US, whose forecast of 2.1% was unchanged.

However, despite the revisions, it said "strong and sustained" medium-term global growth was not yet secured.

It also said business investment and trade remained weaker than needed to sustain healthy productivity growth. Wage growth had been disappointing too, keeping inflation at low levels.

Ms Mann said: "The biggest risk to global growth is that we won't be able to change the short-term momentum we are seeing into long-term growth.

"Business investment has not rebounded [fully], and in the absence of productivity growth we can't have higher wage growth."