How have young people's experiences of unemployment changed since the 1980s?

Apr 16, 2013

(Phys.org) —Research teams from the University of Glasgow and the University of Leicester aim to explore unemployment, insecurity and vulnerability among young people during two key periods of economic instability.

Researchers are investigating the experiences of unemployed young people during two of the worst periods for youth unemployment.

'The making of the 'precariat': unemployment, insecurity and work-poor young adults in harsh economic conditions' is a one-year research project which will examine youth unemployment in the mid-1980s and from 2009-11.

The project is being carried out by research teams from the School of Education at the University of Glasgow and the Centre for Labour Market Studies within the University of Leicester's School of Management, with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council.

The project will explore how unemployment, insecurity and among 18-25 year-olds have changed between two key periods of in the UK.

In November 2011, youth unemployment hit the 1 million mark, according to figures from the Office for . This was a record high since comparable records began in 1992. This meant that one in five young people were out of work.

Earlier data, calculated on a slightly different basis, suggested was even higher in the mid-1980s.

The project will look in detail at experiences of unemployment, and vulnerability among young people during these two periods.

Researchers will use one contemporary dataset, Understanding Society and two historical datasets from 1980s Young Adults in the Labour Market (1983) and The Changing Structure of Youth Labour Markets (1986). Both historical have never been reused and one never archived.

The researchers hope the making of the 'precariat' project will enhance our understanding of vulnerable, work-poor, young adults in order to provide new underpinnings for effective youth employment policies.

Professor Furlong, University of Glasgow, said: "'This project will enable us to learn more about the new realities of the labour market for young adults, highlighting the ways in which people struggle to survive in a context of high unemployment and precarious opportunities."

Dr John Goodwin, University of Leicester, said: "The historic youth data we have, combined with data from Understanding Society, offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the lived realities of vulnerable, work-poor, young adults over a thirty year period highlighting both the continuities and changes in young people's experience of employment and/or unemployment.

"Many think that the experiences of today are somehow unique yet the data points to remarkable similarities in the contemporary experiences and the experiences of young people who left work in the early and mid 1980s. They too were labelled a lost generation."

Explore further: Digital native fallacy: Teachers still know better when it comes to using technology

More information: ukyouthresearch.wordpress.com/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How young adults cope with employment uncertainty

May 23, 2007

Young adults don’t necessarily have ‘identity crises’ when it comes to flexible labour markets and job insecurity, concludes a new study published by Bristol University. The study, Constructing coherence: young adu ...

Young people face double penalty in a slow job market

Feb 29, 2012

The latest official unemployment figures show that unemployment among young people has soared to 22.3 per cent, higher than the recession of the 1990s, while the overall unemployment rate is nine per cent. New research from ...

What happens to the young and educated without a job?

Jan 10, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study led by the University of Oxford is looking at how young educated people who are unemployed become politicized in different ways - either through violent struggle or as reformers ...

Recommended for you

Gypsies and travellers on the English Green Belt

Oct 17, 2014

The battle between Gypsies, Travellers and the settled community over how land can be used has moved to the Green Belt, observes Peter Kabachnik of the City University of New York.

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Oct 16, 2014

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications ...

User comments : 0