Measuring early employment insecurity and its effects

Publication type

Conference Paper


Margherita Bussi and Jacqueline O'Reilly

Publication date


In this paper we investigate the early employment insecurity of young
people’s career by applying the “index of complexity”. This index measures the
entropy and the number of transitions within a sequence (Gabadinho et al 2010).
The entropy indicates the distribution of different positions within a sequence,
hence its higher of lower degree of predictability; the number of transitions reveals
the instability of the trajectory. This index is used to described the quality of young
people’s trajectories in the UK using the UKHLS, also known as Understanding
Society. The index is calculated for the trajectories covering the first four waves
(2009-2013). The index is then used to unveil the relationship between a young
person’s past trajectory and their labour market position in the fifth wave (2013-
2014). We expect that young people with unstable trajectories are more likely to
be out of the labour market or in temporary employment. This will confirm the
scarring effect of early employment precariousness.


Young People, Labour Market and Unemployment