Employment and family transitions: trends before and after the Great Recession

Publication type

Book Chapter

Series Number

No. 12


Young People's Development and the Great Recession: Uncertain Transitions and Precarious Futures



Publication date

June 1, 2017


Did the 2008 economic recession speed up or slow down present trends toward a general prolongation of the transition to independent adulthood? This chapter examines trends in employment and family transitions before and after the Great Recession using evidence from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and Understanding Society. Our analysis takes a dynamic approach incorporating life course effects and the changing labor market structure in terms of cohort and age effects. Moreover, we examine interlinkages between multiple transitions, and assess associations in the timing of education, employment, and family transitions using correlated survival models. The findings show that there is a fall in first birth rates post-recession, suggesting a reduced commitment to life altering transitions immediately following the global economic downturn. We also find an increasing association between leaving further education and forming a coresidential union, suggesting that women delay moving in with a partner until after they have completed their education. We also find a decreasing association between formation of a coresidential union and the incidence of first birth, i.e., in the direct aftermath of the recession couples delay the start of family formation. The findings suggest that the Great Recession is associated with an acceleration of preexisting trends toward a de-standardization (or decoupling) and delaying of transitions.





Not held in Hilary Doughty Research Library - bibliographic reference only



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