The Great Recession and Job Quality Trends in Europe

Christine Erhel, Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière, Janine Leschke, Andrew Watt

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This chapter focuses on the consequences of the Great Recession on job quality in Europe. It relies on European survey data (European Working Conditions Survey, Labour Force Survey, EU-SILC). It first shows that on average in the EU there was a marginal decline in job quality between 2005 and 2010 according to the ETUI Job Quality Index. Improvements are visible with regards to working conditions, working-time and work–life balance while involuntary non-standard employment increased and wages displayed a pronounced deterioration. A second step builds on dynamic indicators calculated at the individual level (transitions in terms of job quality between 2007 and 2009), using EU-SILC panel data. It shows that some socioeconomic groups were more affected by decreasing trends in job quality (other things being equal), especially youth, older workers and low-educated workers. In terms of gender, women were more likely than men to become unemployed or inactive over the period. At the same time, comparing national labour market institutions, employment protection legislation (as defined by the OECD) seems to have prevented transitions to non-employment (with no direct effect on job quality) while public expenditure per unemployed slightly reduced the risk of job quality deterioration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Job Quality
EditorsChris Warhurst, Chris Mathieu, Rachel E. Dwyer
Number of pages26
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date18 Aug 2022
ISBN (Print)9780198749790
ISBN (Electronic)9780191814075
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2022
SeriesOxford Handbooks


  • Job quality
  • Great Recession
  • Gender
  • Europe
  • Labour market institutions

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