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“Are young people workers like the others? »

by drbyos

[Existe-t-il une spécificité des jeunes en matière de travail et d’emploi ? Le sociologue Camille Peugny propose de répondre à la question en distinguant deux aspects : la situation objective des jeunes sur le marché de l’emploi, d’une part, et leurs aspirations subjectives en matière de travail, d’autre part. Professeur à l’UVSQ (université Paris-Saclay) et chercheur au laboratoire Printemps, il dirige la Graduate School sociologie et science politique de l’université Paris-Saclay. Ses travaux portent sur la stratification sociale et sur les politiques en direction de la jeunesse. Il est notamment l’auteur de Pour une politique de la jeunesse, publié aux éditions du Seuil en 2022.]

Is the labor market becoming more precarious for young people?

The risk of unemployment, for young workers, is not new. At the beginning of the 1980s, the unemployment rate for working people aged under 25 was already hovering around 20%, i.e. a proportion quite comparable to that observed until the start of the 2020s. , and even if it is particularly sensitive to the economic situation, it is still two to three times higher than that observed among the rest of the active population. It has therefore been nearly forty years that successive cohorts have had to enter a labor market marked by a very high unemployment rate. In addition to this structural problem, we note that over time the conditions of employment have clearly deteriorated for young people who exercise a professional activity.

Figure 1: infographic on the evolution of precarious employment according to age

In 2019, among those under 25, more than one in two young people in employment carried out their activity on a fixed-term contract, in temporary work, on a subsidized contract or in apprenticeship. This proportion was less than 20% at the beginning of the 1980s. This tripling of the share of precarious employment among young working people is all the more worrying since the other age groups have been relatively spared by this movement of precariousness . It is to the detriment of young people that the labor market is becoming precarious.

Do the conditions for entering the labor market deteriorate over the cohorts?

The “Generation” surveys of the Center for Studies and Research on Qualifications (Céreq) make it possible to follow the evolution of the trajectories of integration of young people into the labor market. The latter are quite sensitive to the economic situation: individuals who complete their studies in 1998 benefit from a particularly favorable economic climate, while those who complete them in 2010 have to deal with a labor market marked by the consequences of the financial crisis. of 2008. However, beyond these cyclical variations, more structural changes can be identified which highlight the difficulties encountered by a growing proportion of young people (Virginie Mora, 2018, “How have the conditions for the integration of young people changed in twenty years? Cereq Essentialsn° 1, p. 51-59.).

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