Social job-search networks and the transition from school to stable employment
Francis Kramarz, Oskar Nordström Skans 17 October 2013
Modest recoveries in employment following the crisis mask severe youth unemployment. Because labour market struggles during the early stages of working life can have persistent negative effects, understanding job-finding networks among youth is key to forming pro-employment policies. This column analyses the transition from schooling to working life of Swedish youth. Close familial ties are important in job searches, especially among the less educated. Preliminary evidence suggests that family association can signal worker ability.
The challenges faced by young workers transitioning from school into stable employment are a major concern throughout the OECD. The search for stable employment is a time-consuming process, particularly in countries without highly developed apprenticeship systems. Many young workers – especially the least educated – are caught struggling for years.
Considering the importance of this process we know surprisingly little about the strategies used by young job searchers looking for entry jobs. Two key insights arise from the large body of research on job-finding networks:
unemployment, jobs, youth unemployment, graduates
Job placement and displacement: Evidence from a randomised experiment
Bruno Crépon, Esther Duflo, Marc Gurgand, Roland Rathelot, Philippe Zamora 24 April 2013
Youth unemployment in Europe seems to be sticking around. This column assesses youth unemployment policy in France using data from a controlled experiment. ‘Job counselling’ – a key French policy that prepares some job seekers for the recruitment process, and connects them with potential employers – seems to only marginally improve graduate’s chances of employment. Moreover, the evidence suggests that what’s good for one graduate may be bad for another: the beneficiaries of intensive job counselling are more likely to find employment simply at the expense of other job seekers.
Youth unemployment is a growing concern in many countries, including France where more than a quarter of recent graduates cannot find stable work. Some of these young graduates do not benefit from resources like unemployment benefits because they lack a sufficient employment history.
unemployment, Eurozone crisis, youth unemployment, graduates
Youth unemployment in Europe: More complicated than it looks
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard 13 October 2012
Youth unemployment in the Eurozone looks like a social and economic disaster in the making – 30%, 40%, even 50% of young people sitting on their hands instead of building skills and experience. This column argues the headline numbers are misleading. While youth unemployment is a serious problem, a large share of EZ youth are not in the labour force, so the headline figures overstate the labour-market ‘scar tissue’ that will be left over from the crisis.
Hardly a day goes by without a reminder of youth unemployment rates in excess of 50% in Greece, Spain, Italy, and other parts of the European periphery. Sometimes the reminders are in the form of rants by economists or pundits about the moral deficiency of EZ demands for austerity and the risks of a lost generation of young people. The challenge for Europe’s youth is stark, and demands for government action are long overdue, especially in liberalising the insider biases that make it hard for outsiders to get jobs.
Labour markets Macroeconomic policy Poverty and income inequality
US, Europe, jobs, youth unemployment
Apprenticeship policy in England: Increasing skills versus boosting young people’s job prospects
Hilary Steedman 06 October 2012
As in every downturn, youth unemployment is a serious concern. This column looks at apprenticeship policy in England. It argues that England is a long way off the apprentice numbers of countries like Germany but with a clear strategy, some nudging, and flexibility, England could realistically aim for the prize that has so far eluded it – higher skills and high youth participation in the workforce.
Apprenticeships improve the employment prospects of young people by raising their skill levels (Ryan 2001). They provide craft, technician and associate professional skills that are valued by employers. And in England there are substantial wage returns to apprenticeships: an average premium of 18% for those at Level 3 (equivalent to A-level standard) compared with people whose highest qualification is Level 2; and a premium of 16% for those at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE standard) compared with people whose highest qualification is Level 1 (McIntosh 2007).
Education Labour markets
UK, England, youth unemployment, apprenticeships
Going separate ways? Differences in school-to-work pathways between Europe and the US
Glenda Quintini 15 May 2012
Recent sizeable increases in youth unemployment are compromising the school-to-work transition of recent school graduates. This column uses optimal matching, a method borrowed from molecular biology, to study the transitions from school to work in Europe and the US. It argues the share of youth facing serious difficulties on the labour market is 18 percentage points smaller in the US than in Europe. In Europe, 30% of youth face difficulties settling into the labour market and another 15% are trapped in long-term unemployment or inactivity.
The recent global economic crisis has brought renewed attention to the difficulties faced by youth in the labour market, including high unemployment rates, the risk of long-lasting scars from poor employment outcomes right after leaving education and the resulting risk of social and economic exclusion (Annunziata 2012). Between December 2007 and March 2012, youth in both the US and Europe have suffered from sizeable increases in unemployment rates – 5 and 7.5 percentage points, respectively – compromising the school-to-work transition of recent school graduates.
Education Labour markets
unemployment, youth unemployment, optimal matching
Marco Annunziata 14 May 2012
In Greece and Spain, around half of all workers under 25 are now unemployed. In Italy, Ireland, and Portugal, the rate of youth unemployment is around one in three. But this column argues that we shouldn’t go blaming austerity; even when these countries were booming, youth unemployment was still painfully high. The problem is far deeper.
Youth unemployment is one of Europe’s most glaring problems. Opponents of austerity point to the swelling ranks of unemployed young (15-25 years of age) people in Europe’s periphery as proof that fiscal tightening can no longer be tolerated. The Financial Times notes that youth unemployment rates have reached 51% in Greece and Spain, 36% in Italy and Portugal, and 30% in Ireland, and warns “is it plausible that people will put up with this indefinitely? No” (Wolf 2012).
Europe's nations and regions Labour markets
Dual labour market, austerity, youth unemployment
It's the family, stupid!
Edoardo Campanella 24 February 2012
Western countries with ageing populations are in the grip a cruel irony. At the same time as having more old people than ever to support, youth unemployment is at its highest levels for a generation. As many of these countries go into elections this year, this column warns against populist politics that panders to the grey vote, and instead calls for leadership that puts the family first.
Deep economic crises encourage a radical rethinking of the socioeconomic model that generated them. The combination of shrinking economies, political stalemate, and growing social resentment is inducing people, especially the younger, to question a model of society that is prone to generate huge inequalities as well as great instability but is incapable of providing a long-term direction in difficult times. With general elections approaching in most European countries over the next 12 months, there are all the ingredients for populism to emerge.
Politics and economics Welfare state and social Europe
family, Ageing population, youth unemployment