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Family strategies to cope with poor labour market outcomes

posted on 2023-06-09, 06:35 authored by Gabriella Berloffa, Marianna Filandri, Eleonora Matteazzi, Tiziana Nazio, Nicola Negri, Jacqueline O'ReillyJacqueline O'Reilly, Alina Sandor
This work uses the EU-SILC data to examine the early stages of young people’s employment (or non employment) career trajectories, in the phase following educational achievements or completion. In particular, we examine the extent to which young people’s family background and household characteristics impact on young individuals’ transitions from school to work and their probability of experiencing successful or failure paths. We propose a twofold definition of successful paths. Firstly, through the classification of employment trajectories and, secondly, through the dimensions of skills and wage for those who are employed. We provide new comparative empirical evidence, both crosssectional and longitudinal, on the following effects: • the effect of the family employment structure on young people's probability to follow certain school-to-work transition trajectories, for those still living with parents • how the experience in unemployment at the early stage of employment career reflects on the occupational conditions (pay & skill level) reached by young individuals, net of individual and country characteristics • whether experiencing unemployment, (dis)continuity in employment or the type of entry job after leaving education affects, for those employed, the characteristics of their occupation three years later • which employment strategies are more likely to lead to a successful employment condition • how family social influences the strategies outcomes achieved by young people. We devise and describe two typologies (of school-to-work trajectories and of success-failure in occupational positioning) and test the influence of several individuals’ and familial characteristics. The research results suggest that the employment structure of the family of origin plays a strong and decisive influence on the employment trajectories and likelihood of occupational success for young people. Our results support the idea that families of origin strongly stratify young people’s educational and occupational achievements, opportunities, strategies and prospects in the labour market. Their influence looms large, both when living within and outside the parental household. In terms of school-leavers’ routes to the labour market the results suggest that the employment conditions of the household members can increase the likelihood of speedy trajectories. The study also indicates that, despite a clear but weak advantage of a continuous employment attachment and an early start, short-term unemployment does not impair subsequent outcomes. Results suggest that a slightly longer initial wait before first entry (instead of entering employment immediately after completing education), or a turbulent beginning (instead of continuous employment), might respond to a strategic move to securing an initially skilled positioning, often at the trade-off of a lower salary. The pursuit of ‘higher profile’ career paths is made easier for youth from higher social class, while for children from other social backgrounds staying longer in the parental home may be the most viable option to achieve better employment prospects. Net of the country differences in the proportion of young people employed and experiencing the measured outcomes, we find no country specific differences in mediating the effects of either of the outcomes analysed.


Publication status

  • Published


STYLE Working Papers



Place of publication

Brighton, UK

Department affiliated with

  • Business and Management Publications


STYLE-WP8: Family and cultural drivers of youth unemployment and adulthood transitions. Deliverable 8.2


University of Brighton

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