Young people in the EU are significantly more likely than adults to work in temporary and/or part-time jobs. On average, 4 in 10 employed 15 to 24 year- olds work on a temporary contract compared to around 1 in 10 prime-age adults. Around a quarter of youth work in part-time jobs as opposed to 16% of the 25–54 age group. While the incidence of temporary and part-time work has been rising for adults as well as youth, the increase has been significantly more pronounced for young people.
There are no large gender differences at EU level with respect to temporary youth employment. On average,young men are in fact slightly more likely to be in a temporary contract than young women (40.8% vs. 40.2%), although there are of course differences between Member States. As for part-time work, gender differences are much more pronounced, with young women on average almost twice as likely to work part-time than young men.
To a certain extent it is to be expected that youth face a higher likelihood of temporary and part-time work, as employers may be reluctant to offer a permanent and full-time contract to somebody who is just entering the labour market with little or no previous work experience. For many youth, a temporary or part-time job is seen as a stepping-stone-towards permanent employment. The share of young people with a permanent contract increases with age, and by the age of 29 an average of almost 50% of people that age are in a permanent job (with around 10% in a temporary job and the rest either in education or otherwise inactive, working as self-employed or a family worker, or unemployed).
However, the issue can become problematic if a young person becomes trapped in a situation moving from one temporary contract to another without being able to get into a permanent job. In all Member States (except Cyprus), the share of 25 to 29 year olds in temporary work is lower than for their younger peers. However, some Member States show a particularly high incidence for both the younger and older youth age group, namely Portugal, Slovenia and Poland with more than 30% of 25 to 29 year olds in temporary.*
*The data informations are taken into The European Commissions’ report.