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"Young people, welfare and crime"Governing non-participation$
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Ross Fergusson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307013

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307013.001.0001

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Non-participation, wages and welfare

Non-participation, wages and welfare

(p.55) Three Non-participation, wages and welfare
"Young people, welfare and crime"

Ross Fergusson

Policy Press

Chapter Three considers the claim that mass non-participation among young people is becoming an endemic, transnational and ubiquitous phenomenon. It traces the profile of contemporary youth unemployment, the deepening divergence between rates of youth and adult unemployment, and some global trends which contextualise the exceptional levels of youth unemployment and non-participation in the UK. It develops a critique of the claims that high levels of unemployment and nonparticipation can be attributed to poor skills and qualifications, focusing instead on the chronically low mean wage rates of young people since the Global Financial Crisis, and providing an analysis of the incremental withdrawal of sustainable state welfare for young people without employment, courses or training places that began in the 1980s. Finally, it identifies a wage rate suppression dynamic, and examines its consequences, arguing that many young people make rational choices to refuse labour market participation under prevailing conditions.

Keywords:   employment, Global Financial Crisis, labour markets, non-participation, rational choices, wages, wage rate suppression dynamic, welfare, youth unemployment

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