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This paper explores the intersections between the current trajectory of globalization, changes to the structure of employment, and policies for maintaining opportunities for decent employment. There are numerous outcomes of these interactions, including higher levels of open unemployment, growth of informal employment, downward pressure on the returns to labor, and a redistribution of risk from capital to labor. Common factors have affected labor demand and labor supply in a range of countries, but specific employment outcomes are dependent on domestic institutions and structural realities. Within this broader framework, the paper examines changing patterns of employment in Japan and the U.S. in recent years, including the experience of both countries with regard to financial bubbles and subsequent crises.
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