Women and Low-Skilled Workers: Other Countries' Policies and Practices That May Help These Workers Enter and Remain in the Labor Force

GAO-07-817 Published: Jun 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2007.
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Increasing retirements and declining fertility rates, among other factors, could affect the labor force growth in many developed countries. To maintain the size and productivity of the labor force, many governments and employers have introduced strategies to keep workers, such as women and low-skilled workers, in the workforce throughout their working lives. Because other countries have also undertaken efforts to address issues similar to those occurring in the U.S., GAO was asked to (1) describe the policies and practices implemented in other developed countries that may help women and low-wage/low-skilled workers enter and remain in the labor force; (2) examine the targeted groups' employment following the implementation of the policies and practices; and (3) identify the factors that affect employees' use of workplace benefits and the resulting implications. We conducted an extensive review of workplace flexibility and training strategies in a range of developed countries, and we conducted site visits to selected countries. Our reviews were limited to materials that were available in English. While we identified relevant national policies in the U.S., we did not determine whether other countries' strategies could be implemented here. Labor provided technical comments, and State had no comments on this report.

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