Europan focus of work problem for new generation

Leaving formal education  is a crossroad in life requiring young people to decide either to enter the labour market or to be inactive. The path to the labour market can be straightforward or more fragmented .Such diversity in patterns of transition from education to work is especially apparent among the population aged 18 to 24 years, at EU level, 59 % of young people aged 18 were exclusively in education or training and only 13 % in economic activity. By the age of 24 the proportions were reversed. Moreover, 20 % of Europeans aged 18 and 16 % of those aged 24 combined education or training with economic activity.The employment rate increases with age. In 2009, it ranged from 37 % (for those aged 15–24) to 75 % for those aged between 25 and 29 years. But being employed does not mean that young people are no longer eager to study and learn: 14 % and 12 % of young employed Europeans aged 15–24 and 25–29 respectively were still either studying or in training. A broad spectrum of results in terms of youth unemployment rate was reported in the EU Member States: in 2010, youth unemployment rates ranged from 8 % to more than 20 %. Moreover, in all Member States, young people tended to be more affected by unemployment than their elders. This pattern tends to be exacerbated by the current economic crisis. Indeed, the youth unemployment rate is increasing strongly in nearly all European countries: in the year to the first quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate of young people aged 15–24 increased faster than that of their elders aged 25– 59.Most young people in employment were employees but not all fulfilled their desire of having a full-time permanent job. Indeed, 37 % of temporary workers aged 15–24 and 65 % of temporary workers aged 25–29 had a fixed-term contract because they could not find a permanent job. In contrast to temporary work, a majority of working young persons aged 15–24 chose to work part-time in order to pursue their studies, which could explain why the share of part-timers is higher among the 15 to 24-year-olds than among the 25 to 29-year-olds.Aside from temporary or part-time employment, young people may also work atypical hours by necessity or in order to better combine education and work. At European level, working on Saturdays was the most common type of atypical working hours for young employees. In fact, 51 % of employees aged 15–24 (35 % of whom were still in formal education) worked on Saturdays either sometimes or usually. In 2010, nearly 60 % of employed persons aged 15–24 were occupied in four economic sectors: ‘wholesale and retail trade’, ‘manifacturing’, ‘consruction’ and ‘hotels and restaurants’. Among these four sectors, young people still in formal education represented from 25 % (construction) to 44 % (hotels and restaurants) of all employed people aged 15–24.

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