An Occupational Perspective
Edited by Werner Eichhorst and Paul Marx
Chapter 1: Introduction: an occupational perspective on non-standard employment
Few would disagree that European labour markets are in a process of deep transformation. An important element of this transformation is the twin-process of deindustrialization and growing non-standard work. Up to the 1980s, most European countries were characterized by high shares of industrial employment and relatively standardized working conditions. This employment model, as is often argued, was characterized by stable career patterns in internal or occupational labour markets and relatively homogeneous wage levels and types of contracts. To what extent this stylized picture really mirrors the reality for the European workforce of the industrial age is questionable. However, it is certainly fair to say that in the era of dominant manufacturing sectors, European labour markets tended to produce more egalitarian labour market outcomes (at least as regards those in employment) than we observe today, however in many cases this was only achieved at the expense of a lower level of employment and the de facto exclusion of some socio-economic groups.