The “precarity trap” of Poland’s youth labour market: flexible employment a barrier or opportunity?

  • Dominika Polkowska
Keywords: precarious employment, youth, Polish labour market, dual-market theory


Precarity is a condition of people who are forced to make a living by taking up low-quality work, i.e. jobs that may be i.a. temporary, low-paid, with no prospect of promotion, and most often without the security of a contract. Young people unable to find permanent employment very often accept any available job, usually unrelated to their qualifications and of a transient character. This paper analyses the situation of young people (under age 29) on the labour market in Poland compared to that of other European countries in the context of the risk (based on data from Eurostat) of falling into the “precarity trap”. The dual-market theory is applied as theoretical background. Polish youth is somewhat more at risk of precarity than their peers in other Central and Eastern European countries, but their situation is much better than that of young people in the Southern European countries.