Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe

The Evolution of Early Job Insecurity in Europe – a new NEGOTIATE paper

by Greta Juul

The study proposes a meaningful multidimensional index of early job insecurity for European countries based on raw micro-data drawn from the European Union’s Labor Force Survey (EU-LFS), and captures its evolution over time, before and during the years of the post–2008 economic crisis.

More specifically, a number of different indicators capturing various domains of early job insecurity are estimated, utilizing the data behind the EU-LFS survey for all European Union (EU) member states. These indicators are then composed into a single indicator of early job insecurity, which is used to apprehend and compare the degree of early job insecurity in EU member states, during these years.

The proposed indicator captures the whole range of early job insecurity aspects, such as labor market conditions, job quality, school-to-work transitions, and job security, in an overall measurement providing a way of estimating and comparing early job insecurity among different countries.

The results uncover the considerable differences between EU countries when early job insecurity is considered. Moreover, countries are ranked according to the degrees of early job insecurity for the years 2008-2014.

The paper “The evolution of early job isecurity in Europe” is published at Saga Open.

The paper is written by Maria Symeonaki , Dimitrios Parsanoglou, and Glykeria Stamatopoulou, Department of Social Policy, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece.

Read more

New edited books from NEGOTIATE

by Christer Hyggen

Two edited volumes from the NEGOTIATE project are published with Edward Elgar: Youth Unemployment and Early Job Insecurity in Europe & Negotiating Early Job Insecurity in Europe.

Both volumes are available Open Access with Edward Elgar online:

Youth Unemployment and Job Insecurity in Europe. Problems, Risk-Factors and Policies.

Edited by Bjørn Hvinden, Christer Hyggen, Mi A. Schoyen and Tomáš Sirovátka
Providing original insights into the factors causing early job insecurity in European countries, this book examines its short- and long-term consequences. It assesses public policies seeking to diminish the risks to young people facing prolonged job insecurity and reduce the severity of these impacts. Based on the findings of a major study across nine European countries, this book examines the diverse strategies that countries across the continent use to help young people overcome employment barriers.
Comprehensive and well-articulated, this book provides a new and original investigation of early experiences of job insecurity in Europe and its effects on youth well-being and future employability. Given its innovative approach that goes beyond the “usual” economic argument, the book is a must-read text for every scholar, practitioner and policymaker who wants to broaden their understanding of youth and their perceptions of joblessness and precarity.’
– Massimiliano Mascherini, Eurofound, Ireland

Negotiating Early Job Insecurity. Well-Being, Scarring and Resilience of European Youth.

Edited by Bjørn Hvinden, Jacqueline O’Reilly, Mi A. Schoyen and Christer Hyggen
Offering new knowledge and insights into European job markets, this book explores how young men and women experience job insecurity. By combining analysis of original data collected through a variety of innovative methods, it compares the trajectories of early job insecurity in nine European countries. Focusing on the ways in which young adults deal with this by actively increasing their chances of getting a job through a variety of methods, as the book shows how governmental policies can be altered to reduce early job insecurity.
This excellent book analyses the challenge of youth unemployment, by focusing on its causes and consequences, during the Great Recession in Europe. Throughout the volume, it uses the notions of resilience, capability, and active agency, while also considering policy responses at various levels of governance. It is a very clearly articulated book, conceptually and analytically, which should be read by academics, students and policymakers interested in welfare and labour market issues.’
– Caroline De La Porte, Copenhagen Business
School, Denmark
This is the first volume of one of the most innovative studies on unemployment in recent years, exploring the sources of the persisting high rates of youth unemployment since the Great Recession. It provides valuable insight into the diverse patterns of youth unemployment and insecurity in the EU, the contribution of employer recruitment policies to scarring effects and the changing nature of national and EU policy responses.’
– Duncan Gallie, Nuffield College, Oxford, UK
A compelling collection of chapters addressing the crucial issues of the consequences of job insecurity and exclusion in the transition to adulthood and the policies to tackle them. A must-read for students, researchers, scholars and policymakers in the field of youth labour market integration.’
– Ana M. Guillén, University of Oviedo, Spain


Read more
Young man at factory (training) looking at camera. Photo: colourbox

Assessing policy strategies

by Greta Juul

The NEGOTIATE policy brief no. 7 focuses on assessing European and national policy strategies to combat early job insecurity and youth unemployment.

Coordination of European strategies to tackle early job insecurity and youth unemployment: Lessons from a comparative study, written by Irene Dingeldey and the German team

The situation of the young unemployed has become an increasing concern of national governments and the European Union (EU) after the financial crisis. Hence, in 2013 the Council launched the Recommendation on the Youth Guarantee (YG) and the Member States made a commitment to ensure that young people under 25 years “receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education”.

NEGOTIATE is researching the implementation of this guarantee as a policy strategy because it is innovative due to its clear objective and provides dedicated financial resources for youth employment policy through the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

As many experts at European level understand the YG to be a structural reform, an important aim of NEGOTIATE’s research has been to assess the initiation of institutional reforms and the quality of coordination as an impact of the YG in the Member States.

Policy recommendations for the EU

At European level, significant advances have been made in promoting country-specific goal-setting, mutual learning and monitoring in relation to the YG. However, many measures and structural reforms that have been implemented in the Member States only develop their impact in the long-run.

It is essential to safeguard the progress already made and to keep on encouraging the Member States to make further progress in some areas, e.g. to complete the reforms already initiated, but also to deliver com-parable data to monitor labour market developments. Therefore, it is necessary that the YG continues to be supported in upcoming financing periods of the ESF.


Read more
Young man back turned sitting on wall with harbour in background. Photo: colourbox

Unemployment, drugs and attitudes among European youth

by Ischi Graus

A new paper shows that young people’s drug abuse is connected to the opportunities afforded in the local labour market.

The paper is written by S. Ayllón and N. N. Ferreira-Batista, University of Girona, and is forthcoming in the Journal of Health Economics.

Based on the analysis of young people (aged 15-24 years) in 28 European countries, the paper looks at the extent to which changes in the labour market translate into changes in the patterns of drug consumption and attitudes towards drugs.

According to the young people interviewed in the Eurobarometer surveys, during a severe economic crisis when unemployment is high, anti-drug policies should aim at the reduction of poverty and employment instead of focusing their efforts on stricter measures against drug users.

During the recent Great Recession, the consumption of cannabis and ‘new substances’ is found to have increased in parallel with the unemployment rate. While at the same time, more and more young people perceive that access to drugs, especially ecstasy, cocaine and heroin, becomes harder.

On the other hand, young people do not seem to change their opinions when it comes to the health risk of using drugs in association with changes in the state of the labour market.

The paper points out that the effects of the Great Recession are not only limited within the boundaries of the labour market but reach beyond.

In addition, it underlines the relation between the health of both the labour market and that of its young people – as soon as career prospects worsen, special attention should be given to drug consumption – because the effects are not solely economical. Most importantly, young people’s drug abuse is connected to the opportunities afforded in the local labour market.

Here you can read the full version of the paper ‘Unemployment, drugs and attitudes among European youth’ by S. Ayllón (@ayllonsara) and N. N. Ferreira-Batista (@natnfb), University of Girona.

Read more
Serious young woman sitting on bench smoking. Photo: colourbox

Negotiating transition to adulthood in economic hard times

by Ischi Graus

A new NEGOTIATE working paper focuses on what could be done in order to help young people in their transition to adulthood in times of an economic crisis.

The report uses data from United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The paper, based on the research conducted by Stoilova and colleagues from the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (ISSK) in Bulgaria, consists of three main parts:

Education works

Firstly the report explores the influence of the institutional (stratification, vocational preference, standardization) and structural (expansion of education, development of lifelong learning, expenditure on education) features of the educational system on early job insecurity. It shows that the vocational specificity of upper secondary education positively influences individuals’ capacity to find employment and avoid early job insecurity.

The report reveals that whereas the standardisation of output in educational systems decreases early job insecurity, the standardisation of input is associated with increased early job insecurity. The educational expansion also has a positive effect and decreases early job insecurity: in countries that invest more money in education, the index levels of early job insecurity are lower and the odds of young people working part-time jobs also decrease.

Family before work?

The second part of the report focuses on cultural gender values, time spent on housework, and factors influencing early childbirth. The analysis shows that belonging to a minority group, having a child, living with a partner, and either being unemployed or inactive are factors that increased the likelihood of women agreeing that women should be prepared to cut down on paid work for the sake of the family.

Of the individual factors influencing attitudes towards gender roles, the most significant is education. Women with a higher level of education did not agree that women should leave work to care for the family; by contrast, women with lower levels of education did agree with this assertion, as did men with lower levels of education. Higher education levels increased the importance of Work Life Balance (WLB) in job selection among men, while lower education levels among women decreased the importance of WLB.

Financial assistance too low

The third part looked at subjective assessments of the young people in seven countries and the institutional support they had received while they were unemployed. In all countries under study, regardless of welfare regime types, this support is assessed by most interviewees as not suitable or adequate to the situation of young people. Through the interviews it appeared that financial assistance is important, but it was considered too low and inadequate for an independent life. As for housing benefits they were assessed as valuable, but not enough. Financial aid as a form of support appeared to be most important to ethnic minority groups, the long-term unemployed and single mothers.

Internship prolong employment insecurity

The young people interviewed also stated that the internship opportunities provided in the framework of active labour market policies only contributed to enhancing the chances of getting temporary employment but did not do the trick of getting them out of employment insecurity. The need for personal support and career guidance is evident from the interviews in nearly all countries.

Based on the findings resulting from the research, a number of policy recommendations have been made up which you can find in the ‘NEGOTIATE working paper no. 5.4 on ‘NEGOTIATE working paper no. 5.4 on Negotiating transition to adulthood in economic hard times’ by Rumiana Stoilova, Pepka Boyadjieva, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova and Veneta Krasteva.


Read more

Follow this blog