Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Unemployment in most post-industrial societies has risen to levels unprecedented in post-war history. In countries that face this phenomenon, rising levels of unemployment have led to persistent long-term unemployment. The economic and social problems related to this development are clear: The longer the exclusion from gainful employment, the higher the risk of being also excluded from full participation in social and political life; this holds especially true for women and for young people with low skills. This threat to social integration may even undermine the trust in the basic institutions of our democratic societies. The common underlying assumption of this project is that a return to full employment in the traditional sense is highly unlikely or only at unacceptable social costs. If some countries succeeded in recent years to reach levels of unemployment like in the 1960's, it was either at the cost of high income differentials and increasing numbers of working poor or many precarious employment relationships especially for women, and more or less involuntary massive early retirement for many older workers. The objective of this project, therefore, is the search for alternatives to such ill-conceived responses to "globalisation" and "individualisation" which in different ways can generate forms of social exclusion.

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