How the health crisis has temporarily penalized the professional integration of young people

Another disappointing post-Covid observation for young people. According to the latest survey “Generation” of the Center for Studies and Research on Qualifications (Céreq), published on Tuesday, the 25,000 young people questioned in 2020, having left the education system in 2017, benefited until March 2020 from a “significantly more favorable situation than those experienced by their elders” – the 2010 generation, interviewed in 2013. A break marked by the arrival of the health crisis, which then strongly penalized professional integration.

Things were looking good for Generation 2017: they were more qualified than those of 2010: 36% of young people had at least a baccalaureate +3 (30% in 2010) and 12% were not qualified (compared to 16% in 2010). At the start of 2020, the unemployment rate for these young people was even down by 4 points compared to that of the 2010 generation. But the first confinement reversed the trend.

Professional integration hampered by the pandemic

“No one is coming in.” This slogan of companies explains the difficulty of young people to be recruited during the first confinement. While the number of layoffs decreased during this period, i.e. 18% of departures, hiring was also limited. “Due to the caution of companies, there was a 44% drop in entries during the first three months of confinement, compared to the two previous months”, details Thomas Couppié, head of the Entry and Developments in Active Life department. at Cereq.

“In all, 27% of young job seekers said they had experienced an interruption in their procedures due to confinement,” adds Thomas Couppié. There is a split between graduates and non-graduates: from February to May, the former face a drop in their employment rate of 1.8 points, against 3.6 for the latter. The exposure of young people to fixed-term jobs (EDD) has also increased due to the pandemic. In March 2020, the latter represented a third of the jobs held.

Worse working conditions at the start of the health crisis

And if young people experienced difficulties in hiring, confinement also had consequences for those who kept their jobs. First, Generation 2017 was confronted with a “constantly changing” work organization. The generalization of telework is one of the causes. But that’s not all. Modification of the volume of their activity, variation of remuneration, period of imposed leave or even situation of partial activity: 89% of young people of Generation 2017 were affected by one of these changes. Some young people in office have also seen their mobility plans postponed.

“The summer rebound has benefited the most qualified”

After rain the good weather. As soon as the confinement ended, the recovery gave a boost to youth employment. “A large part of the lost jobs has been recovered” with the summer rebound and the restart of seasonal activities: trade, tourism and hotels and restaurants… “This partly explains the erasure of the effects of the containment,” explains Thomas Couppié. A rebound that particularly benefited secondary school leavers and non-graduates. “Between May and October 2020, the employment rate of non-graduates will greatly increase since it takes 3.8 points”, according to the co-author of the survey. On the contrary, the rebound is much weaker, even non-existent for the most educated, with an employment rate that fell by 0.4 points.

In the end, in October 2020, if the employment rate of the 2017 generation was equal (71%) to that of the 2010 generation in October 2013, permanent contracts represented 72% of the jobs held compared to only 66% in 2013. The crisis has was “a setback”, but “it will not be a phenomenon that will have a lasting impact on this generation”, concludes Thomas Couppié.

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