The early careers of the second generations: a double ethnic penalty?

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The early careers of the second generations: a double ethnic penalty?

The early careers of the second generations


Young people from immigrant backgrounds were particularly affected by the 2008 crisis. However, they do not constitute a homogeneous group and the success of their education- to-work transition varies considerably depending on their ethnic origins.

A number of studies have shown that young people from North African origin experience greater difficulties in finding jobs than their counterparts of French origins. This is explained to a large extent by their lower levels of educational qualification, combined with their modest socio-economic backgrounds and the residential and educational segregation they experience. Nevertheless, these difficulties remain even with comparable levels of education and other characteristics. Thus this disadvantage in accessing employment is attributed to discrimination in recruitment.

On the other hand, the quality of the jobs they hold has been less widely researched in France. Some research has been done on their wage, which is one of the dimensions of job quality. However, European studies have demonstrated the value of approaching the question from a multidimensional point of view. Using data from the Génération 2004 survey, which followed the young people over a period of seven years after they left initial education, it is possible to measure job quality, both objectively through job characteristics and subjectively, through measures of job satisfaction and perceptions of discrimination.

In order to obtain an overall picture of these characteristics, a typology of job quality was developed. The objective was to disentangle the effects of ethnic origins from the other factors at work (level of education, socio- demographic characteristics, etc.). The young people were divided up by geographical origin, with only the two largest groups in terms of sample size being retained, namely descendants of immigrants from Southern Europe and those from North Africa. They were then compared with young people of French origin. The results show that, once in employment, young people from North African immigrant backgrounds tend to be working in jobs of lower quality than those held by their counterparts of French origin. This disadvantage persists after seven years in the labour market, with a statistically significant effect attributable to ethnic origins. As with access to employment, young people from Southern European immigrant backgrounds do not suffer from the same disadvantage.


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The early careers of the second generations: a double ethnic penalty?



Yaël Brinbaum, Sabina Issehnane

Training and Employment , n° 119 , 2016 , 4p



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The early careers of the second generations: a double ethnic penalty?,