Boom, Bust, and Goodbye: Long-Term Unemployment before and after the Great Recession, and the Implications for an Aging Europe

Mariona Lozano, CED, Centre for Demographic Studies
Elisenda Renteria , CED, Centre for Demographic Studies

In response to aging societies, most governments are promoting economic activity among older workers to extend working lives. Nonetheless, after the Great Recession, the increase in long-term unemployment (LTU) challenged these objectives. Here, we examine the length of LTU across the EU-28 during the last decades (2000-2017). We use the EU-Labor Force Survey and Human Mortality Database to estimate LTU expected years, and decompose changes into age groups. Our results show a strong polarization between the South and the rest of Europe. In Southern countries, people were expected to live up to 5 years unemployed between the ages of 15 and 49, with a small recovery after the economic bust. Estimates were smaller for older workers, but decomposition analyses showed this is because they turned into inactivity. Among women, however, older women gained more time in both inactivity and LTU than younger cohorts, hence being more vulnerable than men.

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 Presented in Session 42. Unemployment and Labor Markets