Thursday, 21 June 2012

Those who are in the gutter look at the stars? …

Explaining perceptions of labour market opportunities among European young adults

an article by Tim Reeskens (Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium) and Wim van Oorschot (Tilburg University, The Netherlands) published in Work, Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 3 (June 2012)


In the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, youth unemployment has risen worldwide.

In cross-national perspective, research on youth employment has thus far paid attention to the transition from school to work, but under-emphasized the importance of the social psychology of labour market entrance.

In this article, European young adults’ perceptions of the first-job opportunities in their country are analysed. The result of a multilevel regression analysis on the 2008 wave of the European Social Survey (ESS) shows that differences across countries can mainly be explained by the public’s perceptions of levels of unemployment, and public spending on education.

At the individual level, youth in a precarious socioeconomic situation have a rather pessimistic view on these opportunities. Moreover, women perceive the opportunities as less positive than men while young people of foreign origin have, contrary to the expectations, a more positive outlook on the chances for young people.

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