Économie et Statistique n° 378-379 - 2004Education-Employment Review
Ways of stabilising employment at the beginning of working life
With the paths taken by young people at the beginning of their working lives becoming more complex, the analysis of employment stabilisation methods shows how new entrants go about forming more or less long-term links with employers. Boosted by the economic upturn, the majority of the generation that left initial training in 1998 found a first period of continuous employment lasting over 18 months in less than one year. However, this first stable period of employment covered a wide range of forms depending on the individual. Although the most frequent of the six types of paths identified is a long-term engagement with an employer with a stable status from the outset, this path accounts for just one-third of the young people in stable employment. Deferred access to an open-ended contract and mobility between employers also rank highly among the other types. Far from being marginal, staying with the same employer on a temporary contract concerned one in five young people. This last form of stabilisation in employment is partially linked to the use of government-subsidised contracts, which are transient by nature. It is also associated more broadly with certain characteristics of the management of young labour by employers, both public and private. The use of extended short-term employment contracts and temporary work can, in effect, become structural and extend beyond the simple management of temporary work overloads.