In the seven years since the Great Recession began, much of the world still has not recovered. Well, perhaps national economies have. But still pained in the wake of the financial collapse are the world’s poor and youth.
That’s a major takeaway from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s massive, 147-page “Society at a Glance” report released on Tuesday. The report outlines the societal shifts wrought by the financial downturns of the last decade — the widening gap between the rich and the poor, accelerating youth unemployment, declining fertility rates — and it projects the fear that these changes will not soon dissipate.
“Some of the issues that concern us most now may fade away if we enter a period of strong and sustained growth,” the report’s introduction reads. “But, viewed from the present, their potential to produce unwelcome social outcomes looks worryingly high.”
Although it can be hard to generalize from a worldwide survey, the report finds that, on average:
“Poorer households have lost greater shares of their incomes than the better-off or benefited less in the recovery.”
“Young people are at greater risk of poverty than before the crisis.”
“The share of people who report that they cannot afford to buy enough food increased in 23 countries, particularly in Greece and Hungary, but also in the United States.”
The report is also a reminder that the social problems occurring in America are largely reflected around the world. While unemployment numbers in the U.S. continue to improve, it’s also the case that “some 48 million people in OECD countries are looking for a job.”
Here are five graphs of worldwide trends that stood out in the report.
Recessions open income gaps. Recoveries don’t close them.
Young people face high unemployment across OECD countries.
Two-income families coped better in the economic downturn.
Overall, life satisfaction decreased across the globe.
But it isn’t all negative. The share of people who helped a stranger in need increased slightly during the crisis.
What We're Following See More »
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.
"President-elect Donald Trump railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his way to winning the White House and has vowed immediately to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation accord. Several of his cabinet picks and other early nominees to top posts, however, have endorsed or spoken favorably about the trade pact, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, announced Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Mr. Trump’s pick to head the Department of Defense."