Perceived employability and the Great Recession: Effects of the macro-economic context

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science

Description

The Great Recession has raised unemployment rates throughout the world. The economic situation is directly echoed by the media that influence public discourse and individuals‘ expectations of future developments. We argue that this is also the case for how individuals perceive their career prospects. We analysed longitudinal data covering the period 2003-2013, combining national statistical data with ViCaPP survey data from 666 WU Vienna alumni. Using a mixed linear model for longitudinal data, we found the national unemployment rate to predict perceived employability. For individuals to whom significant others ascribed higher career success the effect of the unemployment rate was weaker. Prior to the crisis (2003-2008) unemployment rate had a significantly weaker effect on employability than for the subsequent period (2009-2013). Results suggest that with increasing unemployment rates individuals expect their chances in the external labour market to decrease. Career capital valued by significant others seems to serve as a buffer to the perceived threat of unfavourable labour market conditions. Finally, the Great Recession seems to have influenced individuals’ mindsets in a way that they are now more sensitive to the macro-economic context and feel more vulnerable to worsening conditions in the labour market than was the case prior to the crisis. The paper contributes to career research by responding to claims to incorporate context into career research more strongly. It conceptually links micro and macro levels of analysis and empirically demonstrates existing cross-level impacts. Hence, our findings show the importance of multi-level theorizing and empirical research based on a broader perspective that extends beyond the individual level.
Period7 Jul 20169 Jul 2016
Event title32nd EGOS Colloquium
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 501003 Occupational psychology