The Advantages of Young People on the German Labor Market

By Markus Scheuer, Elke Maria Schmidt

English

"In Germany, the earning power of young people relative to adults has not experienced the negative development it has undergone in other countries. Whether overall or by gender, qualification, occupation, industrial sector, or firm size, a clear ""scissors-effect"" against young people’s earning power is not apparent in the data. In fact, the general trend over the long-term is the reverse, running in favor of the younger age group. Furthermore, a general trend toward over-qualification by young people for the jobs they hold is not found. The data also show that the employment of young people in so-called precarious jobs such as part-time work, fixed-term employment, and temporary or contract work is not a serious problem in Germany, and less so for young people than for the rest of the workforce. In fact, no significant deterioration of the relative position of young workers can be seen. The main reason for the comparatively favorable situation of these young workers is low pressure from unemployment compared to other countries. This low level of youth unemployment in Germany results from a general social consensus that holds that the training and integration of a new generation is a priority political objective that requires all social groups to participate, including government, young people, families, firms, and labor unions."

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