How do Romanian Youths Fare in Their Journey from School to Work?

  • 1 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania

Abstract

The paper attempts to present a comprehensive picture of the main characteristics of Romanian university-educated youths in their journey to employment. The persisting demographic decline and significant labor shortages point out to the importance of having an effective transition from school to work (as reflected in several Europe 2020 policy targets) so that youth and young adult cohorts are able to contribute to the Romanian economy to the full extent of their abilities. Analysis of the latest data available reveals that Romanian university graduates’ path to employment often involves a complete switch from study to work. Despite a lack of previous work experience, they enjoy high employment rates, relatively long job tenure that starts on, or shortly after, graduation, and have jobs that match their education. They also tend to be proactive in their job search and over 90% are not willing to change residence in order to start employment. Inactivity patterns that consider both work and education, and early leavers from education show significant fluctuations during the economic cycle. Results indicate the strong and weak areas with respect to labor market integration of youths and young adults, and can provide a starting point for policies to optimize their successful integration. It also points out to potential research areas to address key aspects of transitions from school to work that may clarify unsolved issues and guide effective policy interventions.

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