A study reveals the true impact of the Covid on the employment of young graduates

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« Adieu CDI, place aux CDD non renouvelés et aux fins de missions d'intérim ».

Table of Contents

Everything began under the best auspices. In a favorable economic climate, young graduates in 2017 (here called “generation 2017”) started their professional career on a high note. Surveyed before the first confinement in March 2021, they reported better integration into the labor market than the 2010 generation. And it was in particular thanks to their qualifications. Their employment rate (proportion of young graduates on the labor market who have found a job) of bac +5 graduates was 2.5 times higher than that of non-graduates, notes the Center for Studies and Research on qualifications (Cereq) in its study published on May 10.

Beginners who had hitherto found it difficult to fit in due to their lack of experience have seen their employment conditions improve. They thus obtained a permanent contract more frequently and quickly during the first three years of working life, often deemed to be the most pivotal in a professional career. They were 72% to occupy a CDI three years after leaving their studies, i.e. 6 points more than the generation of 2010, questioned in 2013

Young people are more and more qualified, and almost half of them (47%) are now graduating from higher education, according to the recent Cereq Generation survey published on May 10.

This almost idyllic picture was turned upside down in the spring of 2021. In response to the Covid-19 health crisis, the first confinement marked a sudden halt in hiring and a sharp brake on professional mobility.

Farewell CDI, make way for non-renewed CDDs and for the purpose of interim assignments

While entry-level employability was on the rise, it plummeted during the first lockdown. Their more experienced elders have been favored and the position of young people on the job market has weakened. They have also experienced changes in their working conditions, which have become more difficult. They are 89% to have been affected by one of these changes: modification of the volume of their activity, variation of their remuneration, period of imposed leave, situation of partial activity or teleworking. 32% noted a deterioration in the quality of their work. In total three years after leaving school, the 2017 generation finds itself at the same level (all types of employment combined) as those of the 2010 generation in 2013.

The most educated have nevertheless been the least penalized by the crisis. While their employment rate has deteriorated by 1.8 points compared to the 2010 generation, non-graduates have lost 3.6 points.

The match graduates vs non-graduates

With a frozen labor market during the lockdown period, young people's vulnerability to potential job exit increased in the months that followed. The employment rate for higher education graduates has fallen by 3 points in a few months. This is much higher than that of the population as a whole (-1.5 points).

At the end of the confinement periods, a large part of the lost jobs was recovered, but not by higher education graduates (bac+2 to bac+5). This rebound has benefited secondary school leavers and particularly non-graduates. The resumption of hiring in the summer of 2021 for seasonal activities, trade, tourism and hotels and restaurants partly explains these good results.

Nevertheless, with the recovery, the Bac+5 today seem to have pulled out of the game. According to the latest Apec study, 82% of those who graduated in 2021 were in employment 12 months after leaving their studies, compared to 69% for those of 2021.

Conclusion

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