Long term youth unemployment or disposable workforce?

This paper explores a process which I denote as “young workforce disposal” (YWD). YWD reflects the fact that many young people enter the labor market as dependent employees, at some later time they are dismissed and (presumably) move into never-ending unemployment. Long term unemployment may last two, three, four years, but, in the end, it should lead to re-entry in working activities. If it does not, i.e. if we observe young men separating from their jobs for whatever reason, and, for as long as ten or more years, disappearing from the labor force altogether, then it becomes problematic to define such events simply as long term unemployment. YWD seems to be an appropriate denomination, as it conveys the idea that young workers become a disposable commodity._x000d_ Workforce disposal is evident and dramatic in Italy: out of 100 new young entries, about 70 are still in the labor market 10 years after entry if their first job spell was at least one year long. For those – three times as many - who have started their career with a short employment spell (< 3 months), 10-year survival does not reach 50%. A simple model of the short-medium run development of the YWD process is estimated: labor cost dynamics explains about 50% of the survival process. A comprehensive, structural, exploration of its long run evolution is, instead, problematic for lack of longitudinal data going back to the Seventies.