Accumulation or Absorption? Changing Disparities of Household Non-employment in Europe During the Great Recession
This comparative study analyses the impact of the Great Recession on household non-employment across Europe since 2008. We use the EU-SILC (2007 to 2014) for a shift-share analysis that de-composes annual variations in household non-employment in 30 European countries. Investigating whether job-loss is absorbed or accumulated by households, we break down non-employment vari-ations to changes in individual non-employment, household compositions, and polarization. We find that jobless households increased since 2008, especially in crisis countries. There is no evi-dence for widespread absorption of individual non-employment in families or multi-person house-holds. Instead, household dynamics and unequal distribution of non-employment leads to further risk accumulation within households during the crisis. Paradoxically, this pattern occurs in those crisis countries known for their traditional household structures and less accommodating welfare systems which have relied thus far on families to absorb employment risks. The impact of the crisis has aggravated household disparities in joblessness.