The changing face of youth employment in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Sheffield University Management School


This article examines trends in youth employment across the EU-15 countries during 2002-6 and 2007-11. Drawing upon microdata from the EU-Labour Force Survey it examines changes in contract-type, hours worked and occupation by level of education. Although the financial crisis creates a discontinuity in numbers employed, and despite certain country specificities, we observe common structural changes across the two periods. We find an increasing shift from permanent full-time to temporary part-time contracts, the ‘hollowing out’ of traditional mid-skill level occupations and evidence of ‘occupational filtering down’ whereby the higher-educated are substituted for the lower-educated in low-skilled occupations. We observe some growth in ‘professionals’ following the crisis, but little evidence of the rise of a new knowledge economy. This raises questions concerning the most appropriate policy approaches to education and training and labour market regulation if European nations are to provide high-quality employment opportunities for their young people.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-480
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
Early online date24 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • European Union, flexicurity, insiders/outsiders, part-time work, temporary employment