July 2012 IPA Study „Youth Unemployment in Europe. Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings“

Zveřejněno: 5. září 2012. Kategorie: Jiné odborné texty a publikace

Analytické oddělení Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – International Policy Analysis(IPA) publikovalo v červenci 2012 v rámci svých studií rozsáhlou teoretickou studii Hanse Dietricha věnovanou teoretickým předpokladům nezaměstnanosti mladých lidí v Evropě „Youth Unemployment in Europe. Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings“.
Studie sleduje nezaměstnanost s ohledem na gender, občanství či vzdělání. Dokládá už známé skutečnosti, že často nejnižší nezaměstnanost v jednotlivých zemích byla v letech 2004–2007; že existují silné rozdíly v nezaměstnanosti mezi národními státy i jednotlivými regiony (jedna z nejnižších je v Bavorsku, kolem 1,5 %); a že nezaměstnanost výrazně ovlivňuje vzdělání a sociální předpoklady jeho získání. Ukazuje také, že mladí lidé jsou zaměstnaní v sektorech s nízkou odborářskou organizovaností, ačkoliv nejde o důsledek resentimentu vůči odborům.
Studie předchází bloku dvanácti analýz věnovaných dvanácti zemím, mj. ČR, Bulharska, Estonska, Řecka, Španělska, Portugalska či tří severských zemí, které IPA zveřejní na během září a října.
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The concept of youth unemployment as dealt with in this paper covers the problems
encountered by young people below 25 years of age entering the labour market and
finding permanent employment.

In most European countries youth unemployment has risen significantly as a result of
the economic crisis. Compared to youth unemployment, adult unemployment experienced
the effects of the crisis with some delay. But in the long run, the recession has
affected all age groups. In the 2000s there were significant changes in the pattern of
youth unemployment due to gender, citizenship or educational level.

The results indicate individual avoidance strategies such as reducing labour market
participation (prolonging of or returning to education) or interregional mobility. Reviewing
the literature on labour market policy there are no clear and universal solutions
for the prevention or reduction of youth unemployment, whether in terms of
active labour market policy and labour market institutions or regulation / deregulation.

However, national experiences differ in different areas.
Individual and familial guidance and counselling on both educational and occupational
choices can help young people in their school-to-work transitions and in the
labour market. Workers’ associations and unions can also help young people entering
the labour market.

1. Youth unemployment from a European perspective
The first signs of recession in the late 2000s – also known as the »Great Recession«: Bell and Blanchflower (2011) – came as problems began to emerge concerning subprime loans in the United States in autumn 2007, leading eventually
to the crash of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008. Subsequently, the financial crisis spilled over into the real economy and labour markets worldwide. GDP growth and employment experienced a sharp downturn from autumn 2008, with some country-specific variations. GDP growth fell in late 2008 and turned negative in 2009 (–4.3 per cent in the EU). European youth unemployment rose sharply from 2008 to 2009 and continued to increase in 2010.
The »great recession« thus reflects a long-familiar relationship between changing economic conditions and the development of youth unemployment (Blanchflower and Freeman 2000). Numerous studies have addressed the question of the effects of the current business cycle on young people (see Contini 2010; Bell and Blanchlower 2010, 2011; Verick 2011). However, business cycle effects are not sufficient to explain country differences in the level of youth unemployment and the intensity of response of youth unemployment to the business cycle’s development.
Two observations may serve as a starting point. For a number of years country-specific effects have been evident with regard to the (average) level of youth unemployment and the relationship between the youth unemployment rate and the adult unemployment rate. Second, the response of youth unemployment to business cycle conditions differs by country (Blanchflower and Freeman 2000; OECD 2006).
Initially, structural components – structural change in industries, mismatch of qualifications, group-specific characteristics – were the focus of explanation (Clark and Summer 1982; Blanchflower and Freemann 2000), while from the early 2000s the business cycle and institutions gained ground in macro-analytical models. Youth unemployment responds more sensitively to business cycle conditions than adult unemployment (Blanchflower and Freeman 2000; Jimeneo and Rodriguez-Palenzuela 2002; OECD 2006). Besides the business cycle, however, population growth is an important factor. Variation in cohort size depends on both fertility rates and regional mobility or migration (Bell and Blanchflower 2011). However, even public debates on youth unemployment tend to emerge in a quasi-cyclical fashion, mostly driven by business cycle effects. In the 2000s, research began to focus more on exploring the institutional effects of unemployment. Country specific labour market institutions and welfare regimes and their characteristic impact on youth unemployment were explored (for more detail see Gangl 2003). A broad set of institutional factors preventing young people from entering the labour market or increasing their risk of becoming unemployed also came under discussion (Dietrich 2001; Martin 2009; Bell and Blanchflower 2011). These include lack of seniority, firm-specific human capital or labour market experience (ILO 2006: 19; Martin 2009: 5), as well as greater likelihood of working under short-term contracts and other forms of precarious employment (Marchand 1999: 336ff). In such circumstances, school to-work or training-to-work transitions tend to take the form of a chain of temporary episodes of training, education, compulsory or voluntary military or civilian service, labour market schemes or other temporary activities, frequently within an institutional framework characterized by fixed entry dates, outside the market and oblivious to its requirements (Dietrich 2001/2003). Young people undergoing such a trajectory accumulate little experience of job search and do not develop a clear picture of what kind of job and/or what income they should be aiming for (Martin 2009: 5). Furthermore, young people tend to have fewer resources than older workers and in some countries a strong financial attachment to the family, which means that they are less mobile (Martin 2009: 5).