A new IMF report shows some stark gender trends in European and US workforce, including one that follows virtual reality in a new Spielberg film

In Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s latest blockbuster, much of the population of a desolate future America have abandoned the world of work for the virtual reality of gaming in a software program called the Oasis. A report from the International Monetary Fund on Monday suggests it’s perhaps not such a fanciful future after all.

The rather more sober, official title of the IMF report is Labor Force Participation in Advanced Economies: Drivers and Prospects. What it reveals is a sharp and still barely understood divergence between Europe and the US, especially since the 2008 financial crisis.

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Read More Ready players? Not if the game is young men doing real jobs

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