Vulnerability through lack of employment – IP4
Studies of this project focus on vulnerability from a labour market perspective and look specifically at lack of employment. Job loss is a critical life event and lack of employment is one of the most important stressors for people today. Moreover, job loss represents a key problem in our age of digitalization and it has the potential to spill over to other life domains, such as family or health.
This programme investigates how firms, more than the individual job seeker, contribute to job opportunities for vulnerable people. It discusses how to better support job search, by offering job seekers the tools to augment their cognitive reserves. It also documents the long-run consequences of job loss in different life domains (notably professional career, family life, health and well-being). Gender plays a critical role in this programme and special attention is drawn to the effects of maternity on women’s employment trajectories and sex-typed expectations on occupations and employees.
IP4–Employability identifies three knowledge gaps:
- A better understanding of the role of firms in offering employment to vulnerable people.
- The long-term effect of lack of employment on inequality.
- A better understanding of how to support job seekers to find employment in the short-run, hence improving their employability.
How do firms contribute to vulnerability?
It is firms that make the crucial decisions of who to invite to job interviews, offer employment, and re-employ after a break. This research question addresses three stages where firms play a role: beliefs, recruiting (in particular of older job seekers and women), and career interruptions (specifically, around childbirth).
What inequalities are generated by the lack of employment?
This project aims to develop an innovative methodology to stimulate lifetime income and employment trajectories with short panels of three time periods, including a large number of countries. Researchers address important policy questions: how long does it take to recover from a negative labour market shock? Does the recovery pattern differ between men/women or if the shock comes at early age/later in life? In which countries and for which socio-economic groups is it more difficult to recover?
How can job search strategies be improved?
Improving job search helps people bridge the gaps between jobs and return to employment faster, helping them to secure better employment. Studies address the relative importance of two potential impediments: lack of information about appropriate jobs and lack of cognitive capacity. In the age of digitalization, job seekers need to re-calibrate their job search targets, because their previous jobs may have gone extinct. Also, many job seekers have little information about which jobs are suitable for them and tend to search too narrowly. At the same time, unemployment is a stressful experience and it may reduce their cognitive capacity, further limiting their ability to adopt effective search strategies.
- UNIL: Giuliano Bonoli, Rafael Lalive, Leen Vandecasteele
- UNIL: Esther Mirjam Girsberger Seelaus, Lena Hassani Nezhad, Alessandro di Nallo
UNIL: Kalaivani Karunanethy, Fiona Köster, Luana Goviea Marx
- UNIGE: Dan Orsholits, Doriana Tinello
- UNIL: Nathalie Vigna, Jimi Vaubien