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Dawit Shawel Abebe and Christer Hyggen

Applying data from the Young in Norway longitudinal survey, this chapter investigates how exposure to early unemployment episodes and individual and family characteristics during adolescence causally moderate long-term labour market outcomes in terms of employment and wage status in young adulthood. Specifically, we analyse the moderating effects of gender, level of education, parental socioeconomic status and psychological well-being. Findings from this study reveal that an early unemployment episode is a causal risk factor for unemployment and income inequality during young adulthood. This implies that early unemployment episodes may be regarded as a main pathway leading to the development of unemployment and wage scarring. However, unemployment cuts deeper and leaves more visible scars on some than on others. Gender, level of education, parental socioeconomic status and psychological well-being all moderate the effects of an early unemployment episode on long-term labour market outcomes.

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Christer Hyggen, Lidija Kolouh-Söderlund, Terje Olsen and Jenny Tägtström

This chapter examines the situation for young adults in the Nordic countries in education and in the labour market. The authors identify the risk factors for school dropout, unemployment and NEET (not in employment, education or training). After discussing the impact of gender, minority ethnic status, disability and health conditions, the chapter further synthesizes evaluations of the Nordic tradition for Youth Guarantees, and reforms in the education system and active labour market policy measures aimed at reducing the risk of exclusion of young adults from the labour market. Previous research has, however, provided limited knowledge about the effectiveness of the different policy measures. The authors conclude by calling for more differentiated and nuanced outcome measures to improve the quality of future policy evaluations.

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Dimitris Parsanoglou, Aggeliki Yfanti, Christer Hyggen and Lulu P. Shi

This chapter investigates the potential negative signalling effects of unemployment and participation in active labour market measures in Greece and Norway. A vignette experiment directed at recruiters and employers is applied. Our findings show that negative signalling effects of unemployment are more pronounced in countries where the macroeconomic context is positive and unemployment rates – including the youth unemployment rate – are low. What is also significant is that participation in active labour market policies is not perceived very positively in these cases. Our study shows that participating in ALMPs is perceived in a more positive way in a context of high unemployment, such as in Greece, whereas it might have a negative effect in a context where labour demand is high, such as in Norway. Our findings call for rethinking and, most importantly, contextualizing active labour market policies, taking into account national and sectorial specificities.

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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.
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Bjørn Hvinden, Christer Hyggen, Mi Ah Schoyen and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The chapter presents the aims of the volume, notably to provide new knowledge about how young women and men experience and handle job insecurity in Europe. An important focus is the ways in which young adults deal with job insecurity through active agency. We ask how structural factors, including public employment and social services, community networks and families, enable or hamper such efforts. Moreover, we introduce the volume’s analyses of potential adverse long-term consequences of having lived at length with difficulties in finding suitable and stable jobs in young adulthood, specifically: scarring in the form of weaker long-term employment prospects, lower life earnings and reduced well-being. The analyses combine in-depth qualitative studies (life-course interviews), use of large-scale quantitative and comparative data, and an employer survey and factorial experiment. Finally, we present an overview of these methods and key concepts, including well-being, scarring, resilience, active agency and negotiation.

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Jacqueline O’Reilly, Bjørn Hvinden, Mi Ah Schoyen and Christer Hyggen

This chapter summarizes the main results presented in the volume. It discusses the range of factors influencing young people’s well-being, their risk of scarring from prolonged job insecurity, their active agency in negotiating these situations in times of austerity and, finally, their prospects for making stable transitions to adulthood. Overall, the analyses show that the potential impact of employment services and active labour market policies in moderating the adverse effects of youth unemployment vary across national contexts, labour market situations and sectors. Apart from local-level public services, social networks and family support are important factors in converting resources and latent opportunities into desired outcomes, but again cross-national variations are notable. Finally, the chapter draws together the book’s main answers to the question as to how policymakers at different territorial levels can improve policies to integrate young people into the labour market.

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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.
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Bjørn Hvinden, Jacqueline O’Reilly, Tomáš Sirovátka, Mi Ah Schoyen and Christer Hyggen

The chapter asks how policies to integrate young people into the labour market can be improved. The key message is that there is a need for a broad mix of national policies, including active labour market policies, education policies, employment protection legislation and unemployment income protection. These policies have to be coordinated – at each territorial level as well as between levels. The chapter summarizes the achievements and shortcomings of European countries in the light of five contrasting policy mixes or ‘employment regimes’ (inclusive, employment-centred, liberal, sub-protective and transitional/post-socialist). Finally, the chapter outlines a number of specific policy recommendations grouped under the headings ‘Improving governance’ and ‘Improving the substance and quality of measures’ and concludes with a list of eight key policy recommendations linked to main findings from the project.

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Christian Imdorf, Lulu P. Shi, Stefan Sacchi, Robin Samuel, Christer Hyggen, Rumiana Stoilova, Gabriela Yordanova, Pepka Boyadjieva, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova, Dimitris Parsanoglou and Aggeliki Yfanti

Episodes of unemployment or deskilling work can signal low ability to employers and impede individuals’ employment chances. In this chapter we analyse how the scarring effects of experiences of job insecurity vary across countries. We presented fictitious CVs integrated in an online survey to 1920 respondents recruiting for real jobs in five occupational fields in Bulgaria, Greece, Norway and Switzerland. Our findings show that unemployment scarring is strongest in Norway, followed by Switzerland, and is weaker in Bulgaria and Greece. Work experience in deskilling jobs as well as frequent changes of jobs (job-hopping) are also found to decrease applicants’ chances. We interpret our findings with regard to different national economies (youth unemployment), employment protection legislation and education systems, arguing that these country-specific settings shape recruiters’ perceptions of individuals’ precarious job experience, which in turn influences their hiring decisions.