Almost Half Of Millennials On Non-Standard Contracts

A new Red C poll commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people – has found that 47% of young people aged 18-29 are on non standard contracts (i.e. do not have full time hours that are the same each week). Furthermore, 38% of young people aged 18-29 are on temporary contracts, 34% are in part time work and 30% are in employment where the hours vary from week to week. (Note: this not an accumulative figure – there is an overlap between young people in employment which is temporary, part time and have hours that vary from week to week).

Commenting on the figures James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said: “This survey finds that a significant proportion of young people in work are in precarious employment, which creates financial uncertainty and impacts on their personal and family life.”

Almost Half Of Millennials On Non-Standard Contracts

NYCI Jobbridge Launch

These new figures have been published ahead of a seminar on precarious work for young people entitled “Republic of Opportunity or State of Insecurity?” taking place in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin today (24.10.17). The event organised by the NYCI brings together think tanks, academia, the trade union movement, labour market specialists and the youth sector to explore precarious employment and work quality. It will focus on exploring current data, trends and developments, and will also explore potential solutions.

Speaking ahead of the event Mr Doorley said: “Too many young people are struggling to find work that gives them a decent salary and quality of life. Government must tackle issues around low pay, temporary employment and ‘if and when contracts’.

Legislation welcome but more needed

“We welcome the recent announcement by an Taoiseach to regulate ‘if and when’ contracts and low hour contracts, but legislation alone will not be enough to address this issue. Our seminar will seek to highlight what more needs to be done in practical terms.”

Precarity even at age 29

Speaking further on the new figures Mr Doorley explained:

“38% of respondents are on a temporary contract, so they have no short or medium term job or financial security. As just one example of how this is affecting millennials, this would make it difficult for them to take out a personal loan. ‘If and when’ contracts have wide ranging impacts on family, social and educational opportunities.

“The data shows that younger people under 25 that are recent entrants to the labour market are more likely to be on a temporary contract. However, even among the 25-29 year old age cohort over a third are on temporary contracts, meaning that this is a situation affecting all young people right up the age ranges,” added Mr Doorley.

Rural and class divide

Another point of note is that precarious employment is much more prevalent among young people from lower socio-economic groups and those outside Dublin.

James Doorley explained, we asked young people aged 18-29 years:

Do you have full time hours (more than 30) and the same hours each week

  • Overall figure was 52% were in this category
  • But when broken down by social class
  • 65% of the ABC1 were in this category
  • 32% of the C2DE in this category

The same question broken down by region

  • 64% in Dublin in this category
  • 45% in both Munster/Rest of Leinster

We also asked:

Do you have part-time work which varies from week to week

  • Overall figure was 17%
  • But only 9% among ABC1
  • 30% among C2DE group

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