Young People on the European Labour Market

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-6-48-56

M. Khokhlova (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
I. Khokhlov (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. Problems of transition from education to employment have been fascinating scientists for a few decades: in 1980s and 1990s, case studies were seen as the most prospective way of explaining national differences in order to interpret institutional specifics of national educational systems, labour market regulations, etc. However, the method proved to be limited as it did not allow to see the process in transition. The problem has become more acute since then owing to diffusion of formal (school, professional education, additional teaching) and informal education throughout a lifetime. Moreover, the labour market has become more universal due to non-standard forms of employment, teleworking, etc. The authors analyze studies of European scientists and provide data for 15–29-year-olds as to how they choose the transition strategy from studying to working. The influence of economic crisis and economic cycles as well as employment legislation are taken into account; special focus is on the impact of socio-cultural factors on the period when young people change school for a job. Thus, socio-cultural factors can influence the way young people see their employment perspectives and pave their way from school to office. That is the choice that a young man makes in contradiction to life circumstances, basing his or her decision upon motivation that depends on social and cultural environment he/she lives in. This study shows that the level of unemployment among young people stands on an economic, social, cultural and psychological factors combination which affects the condition of labour market for the young in a given country or in a group of countries at present. So, the transition of young people from school to work is seen as a complex phenomenon and suggested to be regarded in terms of comparison between general employment and particular youth employment levels. The authors fully accept the theory of human capital, institutional theory and other major conceptions, suggest using them at further stages of research. National educational systems also have to be compared. 

Keywords: labour market, youth, unemployment, typology of European countries, the system of professional education, school-to-work transition 


1. Youth on the Move. Europe 2020: a European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. Available at: (accessed 23.11.2016).

2. Working and Ageing: The Benefits of Investing in an Ageing Workforce. Luxemburg, Publications Office of the EU, 2012. Available at: (accessed 25.11.2016).

3. Cherednichenko G. A. Obrazovatel’nye i professional’nye traektorii rossiiskoi molodezhi [Cherednichenko G. A. Educational and Professional Life Paths of the Russian Youth]. Moscow, TsSPiM, 2014. 560 p.

4. Brzinsky-Fay Ch. The Measurement of School-to-Work Transition as Processes: About Event and Sequences. European Societies, 2014, vol.16, no. 2, pp. 213-232.

5. European Social Survey. Available at: (accessed 25.11.2016).

6. World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the Way to Decent Work for Young People. Geneva, ILO, 2015. 80 p.

7. Raffe D. Explaining National Differences in Education–Work Transitions: Twenty Years of Research Transition Systems. European Societies, 2014, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 183-184.

8. Bobkov V.N., Chernykh E. A. Vliyanie neustoichivoi zanyatosti na perekhody molodezhi na rynke truda [The Influence of Precarious Employment on Transitions of Young People in the Labour Market]. Uroven’ zhizni naseleniya regionov Rossii, 2014, no. 3. Available at: (accessed 25.11.2016).

9. Maurice M., Sellier R. Societal Analysis of Industrial Relations: a Comparison between France and West Germany. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 1979, no. 1, pp. 322-336.

10. Sackmann R., Wingens M. From Transitions to Trajectories: Sequence Types. Heinz W., Marshall V., eds. Social Dynamics of the Life Course. Transitions, Institutions and Interrelations. New York, 2003, Aldine de Gruyter, pp. 93-115.

11. Quintini G. Working and Learning: A Diversity of Patterns. Social, Employment Working Papers, 2015, no. 169, pp. 4-24.

12. Unemployment and Supplementary 2013. Available at:,_EU‑28,_age_15-74,_2008-2014Q3.png&oldid=214351 (accessed 25.11.2016).

13. Breen R. Explaining Cross-National Variation in Youth Employment. Market and Institutional Factors. European Sociological Review, 2005, vol. 21, no. 2. pp. 125-134.

14. Blossfeld H.-P., Klijzing E., Mills M., Kurz K., eds. Globalization, Uncertainty and Youth in Society. London, Rutledge, 2005. 465 p.

15. Khokhlov I. I. Nadnatsional’nost’ v politike Evropeiskogo soyuza [Supranationality in the Policy of the European Union]. Moscow, International Relations Publishers, 2007. 153 p.

16. Khokhlov I.I., Sidorova E. A. Nadnatsional’nost’ v politike Evropeiskogo soyuza [Supranationality in the Policy of the European Union. The 2nd edition, updated and enlarged]. Moscow, International Relations Publishers, 2014. 304 p.

17. Kosolapov N. A. Prostranstva global’nogo mira i ego mezhdunarodnye regiony [The Spaces of the Global World and its International Regions]. Transnatsional’nye politicheskie prostranstva: yavlenie i politika [Transnational Political Spaces: the Phenomenon and Politics]. Strezhneva M.V., ed. Moscow, Ves’ Mir, 2011, pp. 15-72.

18. Youth Unemployment Rate 20132015. Available at: (accessed 25.10.2016).

19. OECD Data. Unemployment Rate. Available at: (accessed 20.11.2016).

20. Khokhlova M. G. Nestandartnaya zanyatost’ na mezhdunarodnom rynke truda [Non-Standard Employment in the International Labour Market]. Sotsial’no-trudovye issledovaniya. Vyp. XXII [Social and Labor Studies. The XXII issue]. Moscow, IMEMO RAN, 2009, pp. 44-54.

21. Saks M. The Professions, State and the Market: Medicine in Britain, the United States and Russia. London, Routledge, 2015. 170 p. 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Khokhlova M., Khokhlov I. Young People on the European Labour Market. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 48-56.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.