Spatial variation in early career employment security: the match between educational field and local labour market

Authors: Anet Weterings*, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Topics: Economic Geography, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: regional economies, skill-relatedness, school-leavers
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The increasing flexibility of labour markets in Europe including the Netherlands makes it more difficult for school-leavers to establish a stable position at the labour market. While many studies looked at how mismatches in education level and, increasingly also field-of-study, affect career opportunities of school-leavers, relatively little attention has been paid to the match between their qualifications and regionally available job opportunities. We develop a measure for regional field-of-study matches using data on actual school-to-work transitions. Using the flows of school-leavers between educational fields and industries, we identify which industries demand the qualifications offered by different fields. We then measure the school-leavers’ access to regional job opportunities related to their field of study. Next, we look at to what extent this affects the stability of the labour market position of school-leavers over five years after they find their first job. Using sequence analysis, we measure patterns in the degree of stability and employment security during the early career as a whole and group school leavers into clusters that represent ideal-typical labour market trajectories. Results show that about one quarter of all school-leavers develop highly unstable early career paths consisting of short-term jobs interspersed by unemployment spells. The probability of developing such a career trajectory is affected by to what extent their field of study matches with regional job opportunities.

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