June 2, 2022
Jonathan Latner published a new SECCOPA paper examining trends in the rate and risk of temporary employment in Europe over time in the SSCI listed European Societies.
There is a perception that temporary employment is rising in Europe but there is little evidence to support this. If one takes the position that temporary employment should be rising due to large structural changes in European labor markets, then stagnating trends represents something of a puzzle. I examine the puzzle by applying a life-course approach to understand the distribution and trends in temporary employment among prime-age workers in 31 European countries. I compare and contrast changes in the temporary employment rate in a single period of time using cross-sectional data from the European Labour Force Survey (LFS), with changes in the risk of experiencing temporary employment in multiple periods of time using longitudinal data from the European Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC). Results from cross-sectional data suggest that between 1996 and 2007, the temporary employment rate increased in Europe by 28%, but between 2007 and 2019, there was little change. By contrast, results from panel data suggest that between 2013 and 2019, the risk of experiencing at least one temporary employment contract rose 36%. Over time, the temporary employment rate stagnated, but the temporary employment risk rose. The contribution provides insight into the nature of employment experiences associated with insecurity.