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Within OECD countries, Spain displayed the most significant increases in terms of job losses within those aged 15— Youth unemployment in the United Kingdom is the level of unemployment among young people, typically defined as those aged 18— A related concept is graduate unemployment which is the level of unemployment among university graduates. Statistics for June show that there are , young people under the age of 25 who are unemployed which equates to an unemployment rate of The general unemployment rate in the United States has increased in the last 5 years, but the youth unemployment rate has jumped almost 10 percentage points.

By , this rate had jumped to 18 percent and in it had climbed to just under 21 percent. An estimated 9. The unemployment rate for youth was 9. The demographic of unemployment among youth in the United States as of July , show that the unemployment rates for both young men The July rates for young Whites 8. Youth unemployment levels in Greece remain one of the highest in the world. According to one source, between and , youth inactivity increased from 63 percent to 72 percent. In addition to youth unemployment namely those up to 25 years of age , Greece also faced severe graduate unemployment of those 25—29 years of age.

In , Greece had the highest level of unemployment of higher education graduates in the year old age group. This was due to a lack of demand for highly educated personnel at the time. As recently as , "one in three higher education graduates, two in three secondary graduates, and one in three compulsory education graduates have not found some form of stable employment. These high levels of unemployment are exacerbated by the failure of unions to attract young workers.

GSEE's Young Workers Committee revealed in a presentation that almost two-thirds of young workers did not joined their workplace unions. Unemployed youth has been called "a lost generation": not only because of productivity lose but also because of the long-term direct and indirect impact unemployment has on young people and their families.

Unemployment has been said to affect earnings for about 20 years. Because they aren't able to build up skills or experience during their first years in the workforce, unemployed youth see a decrease in lifetime earnings when compared to those who had steady work or those who were unemployed as an adult. A lower salary can persist for 20 years following the unemployed period before the individual begins earning competitively to their peers. The lost generation effect impacts also their families. Youth in many countries now live with their parents into their late twenties.

This can sometimes take the form of employment in the informal sector when necessary. Being unemployed for a long period of time in youth has been correlated to decreased happiness, job satisfaction and other mental health issues. They are progressively marginalised from the labour market and in turn can develop an anti-social behaviour.

The rise of political unrest and anti-social behaviour in the world has been recently attributed to youth unemployment. During the course of it became a key factor in fuelling protests around the globe. Within twelve months, four regimes Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen in the Arab World fell in the wake of the protests led by young people. Riots and protests similarly engulfed a number of European and North American cities Spain, France, United Kingdom between and for example.

The lack of productive engagement of young people in wider society, underlined by high levels of unemployment and under-employment, only serves to add to this feeling of disenfranchisement. Youth unemployment also dramatically increases public spending at times when economies are struggling to remain competitive and social benefits increase along with an aging population.

Youth unemployment has direct costs such as increased benefit payments, lost income-tax revenues and wasted capacity. Youth unemployment has indirect costs too, including emigration. Young people leave their countries in hope to find employment elsewhere. The economic crisis has led to a global decrease in competitiveness. This fresh thinking is necessary for employers to foster new designs and innovative ideas.

A study showed that New York City's 'Summer Youth Employment Program' decreased the participants' probability of incarceration and probability of mortality. The role of labour market policy and institutions varies a lot from countries to countries. Here is a brief account of key propositions recently elaborated to facilitate access to employment for youth. First, a more balanced employment protection for permanent and temporary workers is needed.

It will ensure that young people who lack work experience can prove their abilities and skills to then progressively transition to regular employment. This proposition has led to multiple discussions on flexible contracts to be designed and offered to youth.

Second, discussions are focused on the level and spread of income support provided to unemployed youth. Third, Governments are progressively involving employers and trainers to create a holistic approach to youth unemployment and provide intensive programmes with focus on remedial education, work experience and adult mentoring. Various pan-European studies have shown great success of these programs with regards to job creation and overall well-being.

The case has been made the past few years on the need to provide technical training to youth to prepare them specifically for a job. TVET and Vocational education would help address the skills crisis. Some countries — among them Switzerland, The Netherlands, Singapore, Austria, Norway and Germany — have been remarkably successful in developing vocational education — and have reduced youth unemployment to as little as half the OECD average.

Three main reasons are usually presented for why vocational education should be a part of political programmes to combat youth unemployment:. Foundational skills have also been identified as key to a successful transition to work. Many countries around the world offer programmes to improve youth skills and employability.

The United Kingdom and Australia have tried to modernize apprenticeships. Indeed these are used to provide training for youths in non-traditional occupations. Measures for youth and employment have focused on easing transitions from school or training to work and jobs, as for instance careers information, advice and guidance services. The education system plays a central role in the debate about the youth labor market crisis. What has become evident is that there need to be major changes in what we teach and in the way we teach. One prominent approach taken by various educators is to shift teaching from knowledge-centered teaching to skills-centered teaching.

All educational institutions should work towards adopting or creating a suitable skills framework that aligns with the labor market, which is flexible enough for educators to adapt their subject or grade level. Moreover, this framework should act as a living document that schools and universities can modify to fit their communities or to accommodate changes in the market. When taking into consideration the need to foster competitiveness through innovation and creativity, recent studies have advocated for entrepreneurship as a viable a solution to youth unemployment.

This alternative is often regarded as a way to empower young people to take their future into their hands: it means investing in teaching them the leadership and management skills they need to become innovators and entrepreneurs.

How to combine the entry of young people in the labour market with the retention of older workers?

This solution ties back with labour market and regulations as many reforms are yet to be implemented to ensure that the market is flexible enough to incentivize young people to create enterprises. Target tax and business incentives are key to support young entrepreneurs in creating and scaling their businesses.

A number of studies have shown that young people are not sufficiently advised on work related opportunities, necessary skills and career pathways. Before they leave education, it appears critical that they have access to this information to be better prepared for what to expect and what is expected of them. Good quality career guidance along with labour market prospects should help young people make better career choices.

Governments, employers and trainers should work together to provide clearer pathways to youth. Similarly, programmes should be developed to better transition young people to the world of work. Here, vocational education and apprenticeship systems have shown that practice and on-the-job training had a positive effect. Awareness has been raised around youth unemployment and it appears clearly that cross-sector collaboration is needed to tackle this issue.

Policy makers but also entrepreneurs are trying to address the causes listed below. Best practices and key success factors are now identified and discussed on many forums, such as Decent Work 4 youth , an initiative by the International Labour Organization. Social entrepreneurs have also invested the field with the creation of new online platforms and applications. Internet has been seen as a new world of opportunities for youth unemployment.

With the use of social networks such as Facebook, Aboutme, LinkedIn, Twitter, young people are actively building their informal networks. New web applications are being designed today to use these networks to better match job seekers with employers, training volunteers and other forms of placement or mentoring. The Internet has contributed to redefining traditional forms of communication and young social entrepreneurs are now thinking about designing a job application that fits more with today's online presence and use of new technology.

For example, the introduction of 1-minute videos to send to potential employers is being tested. Serious games to mimic the world of work or provide an online "smart" coach are also being developed. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Youth unemployment in the United Kingdom.

Main article: Youth unemployment in Italy. Main article: Youth unemployment in Spain. Monthly Labor Review : 3— International Development Planning Review. Finance and Development. Youth Studies: An Introduction. New York, N. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 October Goodman; Chris Kirkham 7 October Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June Outsiderness and participation in liberal market economies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, World Economics. United Nations Statistic Division. Retrieved 10 April Retrieved 5 May Discussion Papers.

Differences and Changes in Wage Structures. January American Ethnologist. World Bank. L'occupazione giovanile al tempo della crisi: Italia ed Austria a confronto. Asian Social Science. Post-Communist Economies. Labor Markets and Economic Development. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. University of Cape Town. Economics of Transition. South African Journal of Economics.

Madrid: BBVA. Sonnet and T. London: Guardian. Retrieved 13 July The Guardian. Many Member States have carried out short-time working schemes or partial unemployment benefit scheme during the economic slump, and some have even expanded the coverage of existing schemes or eased procedures for their application. Hijzen and Venn : 7. However, several Member States have incentivised youth employment by hiring subsidies and reductions of the non-wage related costs.

Measures such as wage and labour market training subsidies are taken to decrease work-related costs and incentivise the recruitment of young workers, and are typically provided by the government to support companies hiring or training an unemployed young employee or worker. Subsidies are sometimes paid directly to the employee or worker, with employment agencies or offices typically responsible for providing the funds.

Public works programmes, which contain mostly direct employment opportunities through public activities, can also be mentioned in this context. Nonetheless, as stated by Kluve , no significant positive effect and even some negative outcomes regarding the post-programme employment have been found ILO : 57— Another measure introduced with the outbreak of the financial crisis, is the promotion of self-employment.

Other Member States have also initiated programmes to support self-employment, often encompassing mortgages or other forms of financial funding to start an own business and gain entrepreneurial knowledge European Commission a.

Labour force participation rate and employment-to-population ratio for people aged 15 to 64 years

Hereafter, access to social benefits should be safeguarded when perceived as appropriate. In addition, it should be expanded in the case of insufficient coverage of income safety for the youth. At the same time, activation measures and conditionality should guarantee that those concerned are actively searching for workplaces or willing to participate either in education or training. Young people often face the same requirements regarding the entitlement of unemployment benefits as older employees.

Accordingly, if a young person does not meet the criteria for the entitlement owing to a lacking overall working period, they are unable to claim unemployment benefits European Commission a.

Global Economic Symposium

Measures fostering the employment of older workers should take two different aspects into consideration: first, the measures in countries with a high employment rate of older workers; and second, measures in countries with a strong dynamic in the employment rate of older workers. Within the second perspective, the decline in employment rate and rise in unemployment rate due to the economic crisis in hamper a clear picture of successful country specific measures.

Therefore, we concentrate on the literature and empirical evidence largely prior to The development of the employment rates of older workers and the transition to retirement since can be seen indicative of how successful the national states were in managing the economic crisis. Pension reforms have been on the agenda in all Member States during the past decade overview in European Commission , box 2. First of all, early exit schemes were closed in the majority of countries, leading to increasing average age of exit from the labour market.

In five countries 4 , the average exit age is still below 60 in , whereas twelve countries have a retirement age of 62 years or above 5. An increase in the statutory retirement age causes different reactions among persons and firms, with the extent to which such a reform increases the employment rate depending on many factors. In the reform, there was a restriction in access to early retirement options and an increase in retirement age of two years also an increase in pension accrual rate and actuarial adjustment factors , which led to an increase of the average labour market exit age by 8.

The increase of the pension age for early exits in Austria by 2. However, for the outsiders, the unemployed older, the reform leads to a decrease in employment probabilities. To stop this dynamic, new measures among employers and employees have been established. That is, the higher the amount of workers who exit from the labour market and enter disability pensions, the higher the employers contributions are. The introduced system of experience rating in the health and disability insurance reduced the inflows in disability Hakola and Uusitalo In Germany, public pension reforms led to an increase of average labour exit age among women from Employers can also use the insurance to reduce the labour costs in case of short term contraction of demand hire-and-fire.

Labour turnover varies among the Member States. To reduce short term labour turnover, many countries introduced a specific unemployment contribution rate for employers. If firms have a lay off beyond the average of the industry, the contribution rate to the unemployment insurance increases.

There is an indirect relationship between the employment level of older workers and health insurance. Health insurance can support employability of workers and workplace health promotion WHP through various incentives. For example, work organisation fosters an appropriate balance between individual level of skills, job demands and job control, work time, etc.

Disability pensions and health insurance are closely related: A stricter health screening reduced disability pension in the US Gruber and Kubik An experiment in the Netherlands shows that in regions with stricter screening, the disability rate declined De Jong et al. Moreover, the compulsory rehabilitation plan has also had a positive impact on employment of older workers, reducing the disability inflow. Furthermore, Autor and Duggan calculated a significant screening effect on high-qualified employees but no effects on low qualified employees.

Johansson et al. European tax systems in general and income and payroll tax systems in particular are not age-specific, given that the income tax rate relates to the level of income and not the age of the taxpayer. While there is extensive empirical literature on the relationship between taxes and the individual labour supply decisions 6 , there are few empirical findings of tax impacts on the labour supply decision of older workers.

The age group that is in transition between employment and retirement is usually excluded from labour supply incentives. The labour income of workers includes decisions of qualification, income level of the industry, hours worked, age, gender, etc. Empirical findings show that working aged women are more responsive to taxes and wages than men. For US employees, Alpert and Powell find significant effects of payroll taxes on labour exit and pension entries of older workers 55 to 74 year old : the higher the tax burden of older men, the sooner they will quit employment for retirement.

Age specific deductions of contributions in the social security systems try to reduce labour costs of older workers to promote their labour market attachment.

Related Indicators:

In Finland, the employer pension contribution rate decreased by 1. Up to , the social security contribution rate for employees older than 60 years decreased by There are no evaluations of the impact of the deduction on employment levels of older workers, and by the contribution deduction is going to be less generous. The specific problems of young and old workers within the labour market relate to the lack or obsolescence of relevant skills and insufficient work experience. To counter this, active labour market policies are in place in all EU Member States, along with labour market reforms to raise employment levels.

In this context, it makes sense to distinguish between targeted and universal policies, with targeted policies addressing specific socio-economic groups such as youths and older workers and universal policies aiming to generally stimulate employment growth and job creation, thereby benefiting a broad range of potential target groups. The evidence collected shows that there are very few targeted schemes trying to simultaneously promote the employment of young and old workers.

Most targeted measures focus on training and hiring incentives to employers, such as specific skill adjustment programmes or hiring incentives.

Nonetheless, diverse measures may be used to reach the same goal: while some of these measures were designed to encourage the retention of older workers, others focus on improving the labour market access and early career mobility of young people. Similar financial incentives targeting both younger and older workers at risk can be found in other countries. However, one particularly notable policy approach in this respect is old-age part-time work.

In some countries, this was designed to promote a gradual exit from work to retirement, thereby prolonging the employment career whilst also facilitating the integration of younger people into work. In an ideal-type, old-age part-time work programme employers received a subsidy if they: a established a phase-out programme for older workers and topped up their pension contributions during the part-time work period; and b hired a young unemployed person as a replacement worker. One prominent example is the system that was place in Germany until Altersteilzeit.

However, old-age part-time work neither helped to retain older workers, as it was hardly used for progressive retirement but rather for premature exit from work, nor was there any positive effect on the employment of younger workers see the evaluation study by Wanger Indeed, at best it was neutral regarding its effects on younger workers while effectively lowering the employment rate of older workers. This is also confirmed by the similar case of Austria Graf et al. Furthermore, the costs for subsidised early retirement had to be borne by employers and employees via social security contributions.

In turn, this might have actually reduced overall demand for labour, therefore with detrimental effects on younger people. Accordingly, removing older workers from the labour market can harm the employment prospects of younger people. More universal policy approaches are fundamentally different as they aim at more jobs and better labour market access for all working-age people.

Such general policies to promote high employment and facilitate mobility on the labour market for all groups are beneficial for all Bassanini and Duval , and thus are also conducive to the better employment record of young and old workers. The most fundamental policy areas and initiatives in this area include:. These general employment-friendly policies can have particularly beneficial effects on demographic groups seeking access to the labour market at a young age or when re-entering the labour market after a phase of unemployment or inactivity.

Therefore, it can be stated that universal policies can have a particular impact on certain groups. Regarding active labour market policies, one can argue in a more generalised fashion that many active labour market policy schemes can be targeted flexibly to address the employment obstacles of target groups identifiable in the national context, with age representing just one parameter among others here. In particular, ALMPs can help to make jobseekers more attractive to potential employers by reducing labour costs in the initial phase of employment or by raising productivity via skills upgrading.

In principle, active labour market policies such as i publicly sponsored training, ii hiring incentives for employers, iii start-up support, iv in-work benefits topping up low wages and v activation policies establishing an effective conditionality between benefit receipt and participation in ALMP programmes or acceptance of job offers are available to address the whole working-age population.

As shown above, there is some potential to deliver effective active labour market policies tailored to the needs and employment barriers of particular groups, such as the young and the old, so that the employment prospects of both groups are promoted. To summarise, general policies are particularly relevant in terms of raising the employment levels of all, including young and old workers. Targeted policies are justified if particular barriers to employment exist, yet age is only one criteria amongst many in identifying specific target groups and designing policies accordingly.

As can be seen from the experiences of EU Member States, it is less obvious to have policies addressing specifically young and old workers but only them. Rather, if these groups are targeted, they are dealt with separately. Finally, consistently both with respect to developments over time and in cross-country comparisons, there is no competition between the two groups in terms of opportunities to obtain jobs.

Accordingly, there is also no economic or political trade-off between a good start into employment for young workers and the retention of older workers. This paper provides an overview of the employment situation of young and old workers in EU Member States. Regarding the recent and present situation of young and old workers in European labour markets, it is evident that young people have suffered most from the recent crisis in terms of rising unemployment and declining employment, particularly in countries where entry into employment and particularly into permanent jobs, was even difficult before the crisis.

At the same time, the employment rates of older workers have been more resilient and less responsive to the crisis, owing to the withdrawal of early retirement incentives and a more stable employment position compared to younger labour market entrants. With respect to policies being implemented to further the labour market participation of young and old workers, it should be noted that particular barriers might exist for young and old workers.

Policies such as hiring subsidies, extended training programmes, start-up support schemes and general activation programmes have been put into practice to combat the unemployment of working-age people, including younger and older workers. Regarding the former, many EU Member States have developed a set of targeted active labour market policies and flexibilised the labour market.

However, not all such programmes are delivered in an effective way, and some preparatory or temporary training and employment schemes may simply postpone integration problems, as is the case for fixed-term contracts and other flexible forms of employment that often fail to provide a proper stepping-stone into more stable employment. Concerning older workers, the withdrawal of early retirement programmes, less generous unemployment benefits and changes in public pension schemes have contributed the most to prolonging the working life. Moreover, training over the life cycle and other active labour market policies can also have a positive impact in this regard.

Higher employment rates of older workers often means a longer employment of employed people, whereas re-entry into work may still be difficult for the older unemployed. It is most notable that incentives to retire early or move into long-term unemployment benefit have been cut, with EU Member States having generally not opted to further expand early retirement in the current situation, unlike in early economic crises. Comparing the two groups, more significant problems are found regarding youth unemployment and their entry into the labour market in countries where the labour market is deeply segmented, where effective vocational education and training systems are lacking and the economy is in a particularly difficult situation due to the crisis.

The evidence shown here also highlights that structural, general policies are most relevant in promoting the employment of both younger and older workers, and are more prominent than targeted policies addressing either group. Indeed, a labour market arrangement that is sufficiently flexible and adaptable through well-designed vocational education and training, as well as continuous training policies, activation and active labour market policies, wage setting and labour market regulation and tax and benefit systems by setting the right incentives is the most conducive approach to achieving a high level of employment.

Apart from particular circumstances that may arise in certain stagnant firms or sectors with no labour mobility, there is no competition for jobs between young and old workers, given that there is only limited substitutability of the two age groups, owing to differences in sectors, occupations, experiences and skills.

There is no need for concern regarding negative side effects of the better employment retention of older workers. Rather, this is generally beneficial for overall labour market performance in easing the burden of ageing on the welfare state in order for young people to also benefit from the higher employment of older workers.

This paper is based on a joint report presented to the European Parliament in Eichhorst et al. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. How to combine the entry of young people in the labour market with the retention of older workers?

Open Access. First Online: 06 October This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. Introduction Promoting early retirement was a frequently used policy to keep open unemployment low in a phase of massive industrial restructuring in the s and s or even more recently in many EU Member States. The recent economic crisis has had a huge impact on European labour markets, including both the young and old. Besides large cross-country variation, there has been a remarkable resilience of the employment rates of prime-aged and older workers compared to the more vulnerable situation of young people, who have been facing severe difficulties in finding jobs in many EU Member States.

According to Eurostat data, the youth unemployment rate rose sharply in the EU, reaching an average of Despite signs of economic recovery in some countries, the short-term prospects for youth unemployment remain bleak. Job creation is likely to lag behind economic recovery, with the result that the youth unemployment rate is likely to remain high over the coming years and the risk of experiencing long-term unemployment further increases. Already today, around a third of the young unemployed in the EU have been jobless for more than a year.

Youth have been harder hit by the economic crisis than older workers. Since , the unemployment rate of youth age 15—24 increased by It is important to note, however, that youth unemployment sky-rocketed in those countries where unemployment for older workers also increased more strongly than in other countries. Yet again, it warrants mention that the countries where youth unemployment is particularly high or where youth have been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis are not those where older workers tend to work until comparatively high ages or where older workers were least hit by the economic crisis.

At country level, high activity rates for those aged 55—64 are not associated with high rates of youth unemployment see Figures 1 and 2. In fact, in some countries such as Greece, low activity rates for older persons are combined with high youth unemployment, while in other countries such as Germany relatively high activity rates for older persons are combined with low youth unemployment. Moreover, positive changes in the activity rates of older persons between and are not associated with rising rates of youth unemployment.

To the contrary, a weak negative relation is observed, suggesting that in countries successfully having increased the activity rates among those aged 55—64 despite recessionary pressures, youth unemployment has tended to increase less than in other countries or has even fallen. Table 1 Youth un employment rate vs. Notation: Not available. Open image in new window. Figure 1 Unemployment rates of the two age groups, Figure 2 Employment rates of the two age groups, In what follows we analyse whether there is substitutability between elderly and young workers in regional labour markets.

In particular, we use EU Labour Force Survey data for to provide an additional empirical assessment of the degree of substitutability between elderly and young workers, analysing the correlation between the labour force exit rate of workers aged 55 to 64 years old and the unemployment rate for several groups of young individuals, aged from 21 to 30 years old. This analysis is conducted at a local labour market level for several EU countries 1 including two non-EU countries 2. The measure of the exit rate of the elderly workers and the unemployment rate of the young refers to the NUTS 2 unit — the basic region for the application of regional policy — as defined by Eurostat.

The lump of labour would require a negative correlation between the exit rate of the elderly from the labour market and the youth unemployment rate. In fact, according to this view, by leaving the labour market, the elderly would make room for the young, with the youth unemployment rate consequently falling.

Figure 3 Panel a suggests that no statically significant correlation indeed exists between the exit rate from the labour market of the elderly in , measured in each NUTS 2 unit for all the EU countries and the youth unemployment rate, measured at the same regional level. In Boldrin et al. Figure 3 Elderly exit rate, youth unemployment rate and gender. This finding, contradicting the lump of labour, supports the empirical evidence provided in other studies see Gruber and Wise, , and Van Dalen and Henkens, The explanation for this positive relationship proposed in this literature is that a large exit rate of the elderly workers, induced by early retirement, increases the cost of financing the pension system and consequently also the pension contribution or labour tax rate.

The resulting increase in labour cost reduces the demand for workers, and thus also the employment rate, particularly among those individuals who are less attached to and less protected in the labour market, namely the young. From the literature there is virtually no evidence for the lump of labour hypothesis. However, when comparing different local labour markets in Italy, Messe et al. To further investigate the degree of substitutability between elderly and young workers, and thus to indirectly test the lump of labour, we use the EU Labour Force Survey data to construct the correlation between the labour force exit rate of elderly workers and the youth unemployment rate at the NUTS 2 level by education group.

We particularly consider highly third level education , medium upper secondary education and low lower secondary education educated individuals for both the elderly exit rate and the youth unemployment rates. Interestingly, no correlation exists for high and medium educated individuals see Figure 4. Again, this finding not only contradicts the lump of labour, but it also rather suggests the existence of an opposite effect: early retirement among the low educated elderly workers worsening the labour market conditions of the low educated young workers.

Overall, little evidence of a close substitutability between young and elderly workers emerges from the empirical results. On the contrary, evidence from regional labour markets tend to suggest that early exit of elderly workers from the labour market may indeed worsen the labour market outcomes of young individuals, as in the case of male and low educated workers. Figure 4 Elderly exit rate and youth unemployment rate by level of education.

Youth employment policies in place at the European level EU Member States are primarily in charge of paving the way for young people to enter the labour market. Development of training systems To better link the educational system with work experiences, a couple of Member States have initiated measures to close the gap between the educational system and the latter employment on the labour market. Employment protection While high levels of employment protection decrease labour demand, employment protection cushions the negative effects of an economic slump on the labour market.

Active labour market policies e. Measures to prevent the early exit of the labour market of the older workers Measures fostering the employment of older workers should take two different aspects into consideration: first, the measures in countries with a high employment rate of older workers; and second, measures in countries with a strong dynamic in the employment rate of older workers. Reform of the social security incentive structures Pension reforms have been on the agenda in all Member States during the past decade overview in European Commission , box 2.

Incentives of the tax system European tax systems in general and income and payroll tax systems in particular are not age-specific, given that the income tax rate relates to the level of income and not the age of the taxpayer. Measures promoting employment of both groups The specific problems of young and old workers within the labour market relate to the lack or obsolescence of relevant skills and insufficient work experience. Targeted measures The evidence collected shows that there are very few targeted schemes trying to simultaneously promote the employment of young and old workers.

Universal measures More universal policy approaches are fundamentally different as they aim at more jobs and better labour market access for all working-age people. Acknowledgement This paper is based on a joint report presented to the European Parliament in Eichhorst et al. Responsible editor: Martin Kahanec.

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