Économie et Statistique n° 415-416 - 2008Geographic disparities
Residential mobility at the start of a working career: women at a disadvantage
Forty percent of the 742,000 young people who completed their initial education in 1998 moved to new localities and “employment areas” (zones d’emploi) in the first seven years of their working careers. Thirteen percent relocated at least twice. In seven cases out of ten, the moves were to another département; in approximately one in two instances, the moves were to another region. Fifteen percent of the persons in the group have returned to the region that they had left during their studies. Geographic attachment therefore seems weak among the younger cohorts. While a large majority of young people are potentially mobile, not all are so in reality. Several factors influence the decision to migrate. Some, often cited, are confirmed here: age, educational attainment, previous mobility experience, and having children. Our study points to other factors as well, such as having parents born abroad, and employment status. By comparison with persons employed under unstable work contracts (fixed-term contracts, temping, subsidized jobs), the unemployed are more mobile and workers on open-ended contracts are less so. Gender and marital status have a measurable impact as well. For instance, among couples, women’s educational attainment loses its significant influence on the propensity to migrate, while men’s educational attainment remains influential. Residential and occupational mobility are often linked. Two-thirds of migrations between “employment areas” coincide with a job change. However, among migrants living as couples, the proportion of men changing jobs far exceeds that of women, and the gender gap widens over time. Women are more often involved in transitions between employment and non-employment. For instance, among persons living in partnerships who have migrated, three times as many women as men (13% versus 4%) have lost their jobs.