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Starting Well or Losing their Way?: The Position of Youth in the Labour Market in OECD Countries

  • Glenda Quintini
  • Sébastien Martin

Despite the fact that today’s young cohorts are smaller in number and better educated than their older counterparts, high youth unemployment remains a serious problem in many OECD countries. This reflects a variety of factors, including the relatively high proportion of young people leaving school without a basic educational qualification, the fact that skills acquired in initial education are not always well adapted to labour market requirements, as well as general labour market conditions and problems in the functioning of labour markets. The paper highlights the trends in youth labour market performance over the past decade using a wide range of indicators. It also presents new evidence on i) the length of transitions from school to work; ii) the wages, working conditions and stability of jobs performed by youth; and iii) the degree of so-called “over-education”, i.e. the gap between the skills of young people and the jobs they get. Même si les cohortes des jeunes d’aujourd’hui sont moins nombreuses et mieux éduquées que leurs aînés, le taux de chômage élevé des jeunes demeure un sérieux problème dans beaucoup de pays de l'OCDE. Ceci tient à un ensemble de facteurs, comme la proportion relativement élevée de jeunes sortant de l'école sans qualification élémentaire, le fait que les qualifications acquises dans l'éducation initiale ne sont pas toujours bien adaptées aux exigences du marché du travail, tout comme les conditions générales et les problèmes de fonctionnement des marchés du travail. Ce papier met en lumière les tendances de la performance du marché du travail des jeunes au cours de la dernière décennie en utilisant une large variété d’indicateurs. Il présente aussi de nouveaux éléments sur i) la durée des transitions de l'école à l'emploi ; ii) les salaires, les conditions de travail et la stabilité des emplois des jeunes; et iii) le degré de « surqualification », c.-à-d. la différence entre les qualifications des jeunes et les emplois qu’ils occupent.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 39.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:39-en
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