Long-Term Unemployment Risks in Europe



European labour markets, long-term unemployment, labour market segmentation, labour market dualisation, economic crisis


This article discusses the changing social distribution of unemployment and long-term unemployment risks during the current financial and economic crisis. These risks are interpreted as the result of three different, overlapping forms of labour market segmentation: firstly, the institutionally stabilised polarisation between labour market insiders and outsiders; secondly, the occupational dualisation of high and low-skilled employees and occupations; and thirdly, the marginalisation of disadvantaged social groups. On the basis of EU-SILC data for 2012, it can be shown that long-term unemployment risks are especially high for low-skilled persons and occupations, single parents, migrants, and ill persons. This can be interpreted as an indicator for the occupational and social dualisation of labour markets espeically in the current crisis.


Martin Heidenreich, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

Since 2012

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg; Institute for Advanced Study

2008-10; since 2012

Director of the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg

Since 2008

Founding director of the Jean Monnet Centre for Europeanisation and Trans­national Regulations

Since 4/2007

Professor of Sociology with special attention to Social Stratification, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany


Professor of European Studies in Social Sciences, Faculty for Social Sciences and Economics, University of Bamberg, Germany


Heisenberg-Researcher, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Post-habilitation grant from the German Research Council)


Acting professorships at the Universities of Saarbrücken, Cologne and Paderborn


Senior researcher at the Center for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany


Assistant professor (Wissenschaftlicher Assistant) at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld, Germany


Research associate at the University of Bielefeld (project: „Intro­duction and Use of Production Planning Systems in French, Italian, and German firms“)


Research associate at the University of Bielefeld (project: New Technologies and Options for a Different Use of the Workforce)


Research assistant at the „Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund“ (Center for Social Research; project: Labour markets and firms' recruiting strategies)


Research assistant at the University of Bielefeld (project: Work in Foundries“)


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Sektion Soz. Ungleichheit u. Sozialstrukturanalyse: Soziale Ungleichheiten in Zeiten der Krise