In-Work Poverty, Precarious Work and Indebtedness. The Steady State European Equilibrium?
27 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 24, 2018
Since the establishment of a European strategy to create more and better jobs at the end of ‘90s (EES – European Employment Strategy), Member States faced many efforts pursuing the target of high percentage of employed persons, target renewed with Europe 2020 strategy. In the same years many citizenship rights, universally recognized, started to be conditioned to the employment status: the “welfarism” was rapidly substituted with “workfare”, with the twin aims of encouraging activation of labour force and - less claimed – of cutting public expenses, especially in social services. In this paper we analyse trends and relations of certain dimension of employment to better understand the sustainability of this approach. We stressed out that in front of asymmetric reduction of unemployment among Member States, the “new” employment is more and more characterized by undermining factors: insecurity, precariousness, poverty. From this point of view, it seems that States pursuing active labour market policies, under a Flexicurity approach, besides a good labour market performance, are still facing with poverty and job insecurity of many workers. So that is even more true if we consider other variables like household indebtedness, the other dangerous drawback of welfare “commodification” processes. There is no one solution, beyond enforce Employment Protection Legislations, Basic income or Minimum wages, but changing the targets of European strategy with more social or qualitative components (e.g. quality of employment) and get over the Flexicurity approach could be a good starting point.
Keywords: job insecurity, work poverty, precariat, flexicurity, household debt, basic income, welfare, privatized keinesianism
JEL Classification: J08
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation