The isolation of the unemployed across European households: 1998-2011

Hafize Pinar Koksel, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Iñaki Permanyer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Albert Esteve, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

As a result of the recent economic crisis, Europe is witnessing record high levels of unemployment accompanied by an increase in poverty rates. The consequences of unemployment go beyond the individual and affect the households through the loss of a breadwinner. Nevertheless, the structure of the household and the employment status of its members may soften or exacerbate the job loss. Household structures varies to a great extent across European countries, highlighting diverse cultural legacies and family ties in different regions. For instance, the high levels of parental co-residence among young adults in Southern Europe may contribute to soften the impact of the high rates of youth unemployment that characterize the region. In this paper, we develop a measure of unemployment that takes into account the household context of the unemployed, both in terms of composition and employment status of its co-residents. We distinguish between isolated and non-insolated unemployed based on whether they co-reside only with other unemployed or with employed household members. Hence, our measure of unemployment is sensitive to the level of isolation of unemployed across households. We refer to it as Isolation sensitive Unemployment rate (IsU). We assume that isolated unemployed are at a higher risk of social exclusion. We use data from European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) for 30 European countries from 1998 to 2011 to analyze the varying levels of isolation of the unemployed by age and sex.

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Presented in Session 34: Work, employment and income in an uncertain world