52.7% is the share of precarious jobs for people under 25 in 2019. More than one in two young people is either on a fixed-term contract, or on a temporary contract, or on a subsidized contract, or in an apprenticeship. The precariousness of the labor market at work for forty years is largely carried by young people, demonstrates the sociologist Camille Peugny within the framework of the scientific mediation project “What do we know about work? », from the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Evaluation of Public Policies (Liepp), broadcast in collaboration with Liepp and the Presses de Sciences Po on the Emploi channel of Lemonde.fr.
Since the 1980s, whenever the job market has weakened, the first hit have been juniors and seniors. And, over the years, the quality of employment has deteriorated: the share of precarious jobs more than tripled between 1983 and 2019, rising from 2.2% to 6.2% for the over 50s. , from 2.9% to 11.3% for employees aged 25 to 49, and from 16.7% to 52.7% for those under 25. This is how“a growing proportion of young people are experiencing transitions to working life that are bumpy to say the least, with sequences of precarious jobs and increasingly frequent periods of unemployment”observes the sociologist, before developing his analysis of the impact on the whole of the career.
While two out of three young people are on permanent contracts between the ages of 25 and 29, some still do not have a stable job several years after the end of their initial training. The observation of the part of CDIs by age group according to the generations highlights what he calls “a scar effect” of these difficult beginnings over the whole of professional life. “While the share of precarious employment in the first years of working life increases over successive cohorts, the latter do not seem to catch up with the previous cohorts, including up to an advanced age”notes the sociologist.
Previous studies had established the medium-term impact of low starting pay in times of economic crisis. In terms of employment, “a few quarters of bad economic conditions do not permanently degrade the level of integration”relativizes the Center for Studies and Research on Qualifications, but a bad salary on hiring takes a long time to catch up, especially for women.
Camille Peugny’s work goes further by focusing, beyond the employment rate and remuneration, on stabilization in employment. The sociologist is also interested in the evolution of young people’s relationship to work. His analysis indirectly reveals to us that the current practice of precarious employment, whether fixed-term or temporary, to open the door to the labor market for young people leaves traces, and for a long time.
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