Early job insecurity and consequences for the transition to adulthood

Adolescents performing parkour

The transition to adulthood is a process which poses various hardships to young people and in which they need to take significant decisions about their future. When this process coincides with economic and financial crisis, with political and labour market transformation, the situation of the youth is further hampered.

Against this background our colleagues from the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (ISSK), R. Stoilova, P. Boyadjieva, P. Illieva, V. Krasteva, G. Yordanova and L. Nyagolov have written a working paper based on an interview study of early job insecurity and consequences for the transition to adulthood.

In their paper they have identified patterns of the effects of the situation of early job insecurity on young people’s scope for exercising active agency on the pathways to adulthood, the aspects of marginalisation and social exclusion of young people and mechanisms of gendered labour market outcomes.

A vicious circle

This working paper demonstrates that it is reasonable and appropriate to focus both on the institutionally related factors, and on the characteristics of youths, so as to demonstrate that the significance of resources and services derives not only from the individual but also from the socially and institutionally embedded capabilities of young persons to convert those capabilities in to valued states and actions.

The analysis underlines the restlessness of young people, and that early job insecurity has serious implications, or is even defined as “blocker”, on the scope of active agency and the resilience of people, as they end up in a vicious circle in which they feel at risk of labour market exclusion.

Focus on empowerment

Policy on both national and local level should therefore focus on empowering young people to interact and negotiate with different institutions to convert the available resources into new prospects and scope for real choice with regards to education, employment and family formation in order to live independently and choose a valued life.

In addition, the analysis points out that women (in comparison to men) often become victim of the family and circumstances. People with an ethnic origin have a higher risk to be marginalized and even falling into social anomie, to escape from poverty and insecurity, they would require the support of institutions and civic organisations.

Besides the institutions, employers also play a crucial role when it comes to the integration of young people into satisfying employment, their emancipation and autonomy. Therefore, employers should be motivated to shape the labour potential of their employees.

Read find the full version working paper: An interview study of early job insecurity and consequences for the transition to adulthood. NEGOTIATE working paper no. 5.3 (pdf)