Keywords: gender gaps, young adults, employment security, earnings security, Europe
Employment and earnings security are two of the most pressing challenges facing labour markets today. This paper analyses how gender gaps in achieving employment security and earnings security varies across 18 European countries for childless young adult around five years after leaving education. Our results show that in most countries young women face greater difficulties than young men in reaching an employment-secure condition in the labour market, even if they do not have children. Even when they reach an employment-secure condition, childless young women are less likely than childless young men to achieve earnings security in half of the countries considered. Results suggest that women might be discriminated against because of the motherhood risk. The extent of gender gaps in employment security is more pronounced in countries where it is more difficult for firms to fire, while gaps in earnings security appear larger where part-time is more widespread. Policies addressing the redistribution across women and men of parenthood costs for firms (both actual and potential), and incentives to hire women to balance stricter employment regulations should be encouraged.