Économie et Statistique n° 388-389 - Training-Employment (II): Training and Quality of Employment

Economie et Statistique
Paru le : 01/06/2006
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The career paths of young people on leaving education and wage downgrading

Emmanuelle Nauze-Fichet et Magda Tomasini

742,000 young people left education for the first time in 1998. Three years later, 82.4% were in employment, 9.2% were unemployed and 8.4% were inactive. Almost half had been unemployed at some point since leaving education. In spring 2001, the majority of young people (60%) stated that finding a stable job was their main priority during the first three years after leaving education, well ahead of pursuing a career (26%) or devoting time to their private life (14%). In order to attain this stability, some young people compromised on their wage, taking jobs which were low-paid with regard to their qualifications. 42% of baccalauréat or higher education diploma holders, however, have enjoyed stable employment without «downgrading in terms of salary»: here, those most qualified, young men, and children of managers are overrepresented. Yet 14% of young people have experienced downgrading whilst in stable employment: these tend to be young women, children of labourers or white-collar workers, and holders of the simple baccalauréat, but also bac +3/4 holders (3/4 year higher education diploma) 7% of baccalauréat or higher education diploma holders have held a downgraded job before moving to a higher level job in line with their qualifications: those who worked during their studies are moved to a higher level job more quickly. Young people sometimes accept a wage downgrade in order to escape unemployment or precarious employment: if 3% of young people have accepted a downgraded job after a long period of unemployment and have a negative outlook on their career, 5% have taken a downgraded job after having held a higher level job in line with their qualifications. They opt to take a downgraded job with a lower salary in order to reduce the level of uncertainty with regard to the duration of their contract, and are more positive about their career.

Economie et Statistique
No 388-389
Paru le : 01/06/2006