Exploring Inequality in Europe
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Exploring Inequality in Europe

Diverging Income and Employment Opportunities in the Crisis

Edited by Martin Heidenreich

Europe has become a dominant frame for the generation, regulation and perception of social inequalities. This trend was solidified by the current economic crisis, which is characterized by increasing inequalities between central and peripheral countries and groups. By analysing the double polarization between winners and losers of the crisis, the segmentation of labour markets and the perceived quality of life in Europe, this book contributes to a better understanding of patterns and dynamics of inequality in an integrated Europe.
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Chapter 4: The segmentation of the European labour market – the evolution of short- and long-term unemployment risks during the eurozone crisis

Martin Heidenreich


This article discusses the changing social distribution of unemployment and long-term unemployment risks during the current financial and economic crisis. These risks are interpreted as the result of three different, overlapping forms of labour market segmentation: firstly, the institutionally stabilized polarization between labour market insiders and outsiders; secondly, the occupational dualization of high- and low-skilled employees and occupations; and, thirdly, the marginalization of disadvantaged social groups. On the basis of EU-SILC data for 24 European countries (2005–2012), it can be shown that (long-term) unemployment risks increase especially for low-skilled persons and occupations, single parents, migrants and ill people. Women, older and permanently employed people are relatively less affected by short-term unemployment but more affected by long-term unemployment. Hence, the current crisis strengthens the occupational and social dualization of labour markets, endangering the inclusiveness and long-term growth potential of the European economy and societies.

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