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Policy brief - Roma and the labour market

Policy brief - Roma and the labour market

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2013 - This policy brief is based on a broader research paper on Roma and the labour market, part of a series series on Roma inclusion.
2013 - This policy brief is based on a broader research paper on Roma and the labour market, part of a series series on Roma inclusion.

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Published by: UNDP in Europe and Central Asia on Jul 16, 2013
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01/02/2015

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 The Roma are arguably both the largest ‘minority’ ethnicgroup in Central and Southeastern Europe and the ethnicgroup that has sufered most rom transition to the market.Recent survey data show that, while some progress wasmade during the 2004-2011 period—particularly in termso reducing the gaps between Roma and non-Roma schoolparticipation rates, wages, and joblessness—Roma contin-ue to experience pronounced labour market disadvantages.Roma ace structural barriers to employment. Moreover,many o the actors contributing to continuing high Romaunemployment rates cannot be explained by gaps in educa-tion or qualication. Gender gaps are particularly importantboth in employment as well as wages.Data rom the UNDP/World Bank/European Commission re-gional Roma Survey 2011 suggest that the relative situationo Roma as measured by joblessness improved—slightly—between 2004 and 2011. However, these data also showthat Roma continue to experience unemployment and job-less rates ar above—and employment rates and wages arbelow—those o majority populations. For example, thesedata suggest that Roma ace jobless rates that exceed therates acing non-Roma survey respondents living in closeproximity to Roma communities by 30% to 250% (Figure 1).
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1/ This brie is based on a broader research paper elaborated in the context o the UNDP background paper series on Roma inclusion. The series includes also thematic reports on education, health, poverty, gender, migration and civil society. The individual papers will bereleased in the course o December 2012 – February 2013 and once released, can be accessed rom the Roma- section o UNDP BRC web-site: http://europeandcis.undp.org/ourwork/roma/.2/ The jobless rate is used rather than the unemployment rate as an indicator o labour market problems here. In this context, the jobless(or NEET) rate—the proportion o the working age population that is neither in education nor employment—is preerred to the unem-ployment rate because it includes also discouraged workers. The downside is that, although its relevance is being increasingly recogn-ised internationally, the jobless rate is not yet widely reported in national statistics, which prevents comparison with the data reportedhere.3/ For visual clarity, the ollowing abbreviations were used in the graphs: AL (Albania), BA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), BG (Bulgaria), H(Hungary), HR (Republic o Croatia), CZ (Czech Republic), MD (Moldova), ME (Montenegro), MK (FYR o Macedonia), RO (Romania), RS (Re-public o Serbia), and SK (Slovakia). The abbreviations are ollowing the country codes used by EUROSTAT, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Glossary:Country_codes
Policy brie 
Figure 1:Ratio o Roma to non-Roma jobless rates, 2011
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Source: Calculated rom the UNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Note: The jobless rate is defned as the proportion o the gender-/ethnic-specifc working age (15-64) population which is neither in education nor employment.A ratio o 1.0 implies no dierence in Roma versus non-Roma jobless rates.
Niall O’Higgins, Università di Salerno
ROMA AND NON-ROMAON CENTRAL ANDSOUTHEAST EUROPEANLABOUR MARKETS
Niall O’Higgins, Università di Salerno
Men Women1,41,51,53,51,32,21,71,41,61,41,61,71,31,41,72,71,51,81,61,51,41,41,51,4ALBABGCZHHRMDMEMKRORSSK
 
ROMA AND NON-ROMA ON CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN LABOUR MARKETS
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Figure 3:Educational participation rates, 2011Figure 2:Roma/non-Roma ratio o median wages, 2011
Source: Calculated rom the UNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Note: The educational participation rate is defned as the proportion o young people (15-24) who are still in education.Source: Calculated rom the UNDP/WB/EC Regional Roma Survey 2011.Note: A ratio o 1.0 implies no dierence in Roma versus non-Roma wages.
Similarly, Roma wage levels are consistently below thoseo non-Roma living in close proximity: or Roma men, me-dian wages in 2011 were between 45% and 80% o wagesor non-Roma men (Figure 2). For women, the gap is evenlarger: emale Roma wages were between 29% and 59% o male non-Roma wages. Roma women thereore bear a ‘dou-ble burden’ arising both rom their ethnicity and rom theirgender. Roma women’s wages are, on average,
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only 45% o non-Roma men’s wages and 54% o the wages o non-Romawomen. Roma women are thereore more disadvantagedthan both Roma men and non-Roma women. Moreover,while the wage penalty Roma women ace has both an eth-nic and a gender component, the ethnic actor seems moreimportant than the gender actor. Two major explanations or Roma labour market disadvan-tages are commonly ofered: (a) lower levels o educationalachievement; and (b) labour market discrimination, as em-ployers may be less willing to employ, and pay equal wagesto, Roma compared to similarly qualied non-Roma. These survey data show that educational participation ratescontinue to be much lower amongst young Roma thanamongst their non-Roma counterparts (Figure 3). However, jobless rates ell much more or non-Roma with higher lev-
Men Womennon-Roma Roma0,80,450,50,670,710,590,720,670,710,50,50,750,60,350,570,50,330,670,530,620,670,670,540,59SKRSROMKMEMDHRHCZBGBAAL
4/ Unweighted average or the countries covered in the survey.
53565652395150606250594826171618111125403218149SKRSROMKMEMDHRHCZBGBAAL0 20 40 60 80
els o educational attainment than or Roma (Figure 4). Thissuggests that education levels are not the sole explanationor Roma labour market di culties.
80696652407661514024NonePrimaryLower secondaryUpper secondaryPost-secondary
Figure 4: Jobless rates by educational attainmentlevels, 2011
Roma non-Roma
Source: Calculated rom the UNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Note: The jobless rate is defned as the proportion o the gender-/ethnic-specifc working age (15-64) population which is neither in education nor employment.
 
ROMA AND NON-ROMA ON CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN LABOUR MARKETS
3
Changes during the frst hal o the Roma Decade(2004 -2011)
Fortunately, the survey data do point to some improve-ments in the status o Roma during the 2004-2011 period.For one thing, educational participation rates amongstyoung (15-24 year old) Roma increased signicantly (Figure5). Roma/non-Roma jobless ratios also ell during this timeor both men and women, in all countries surveyed exceptor Romania (Figures 6, 7). However, in many countries sur-veyed, this ‘improvement’ actually reected the act that in-creases in joblessness amongst Roma were proportionatelysmaller than those a icting non-Roma. (Deterioration orboth groups can presumably be explained by the generallyunavourable labour market trends in these countries thattook hold with the post-2008 economic crisis.)In any case, relative improvements in Roma jobless ratesmust be set against the trends in the employment data,which are quite discouraging. In most o the countries sur-veyed, Roma/non-Roma ratio o employment rates ell dur-ing 2004-2011—pointing to urther labour market deterio-
Figure 5:Percentage point changes in educationalparticipation rates among young Roma and non-Roma,and in the ratio between them, 2004-2011
Source: Calculated rom the UNDP Regional Roma survey 2004 and theUNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Notes: 1) The educational participation rate is defned as the proportion o  young people (15-24) who are still in education.2) The ratio is defned so that equality = 100 (as opposed to 1 used above)in order to acilitate visual comparability. Thus, the change in the ‘ratio’ expressed in this way, is the percentage point change in the relative likelihood o a young Roma being in education compared to a young non-Roma.
Roma non-Roma
Figure 6:Percentage point changes in jobless rates o Roma and non-Roma men, and in the ratio betweenthem, 2004-2011
Source: Calculated rom the UNDP Regional Roma survey 2004 and the UNDP/ WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Notes: 1) The jobless rate is defned as the proportion o the gender-/ethnic-specifc working age (15-64) population which is neither in education nor employment.2) The ratio is defned so that equality = 100, to acilitate comparability. Changesin this ratio show the percentage point change in the likelihood o a Roma manbeing jobless compared to a non-Roma man.
Source: Calculated rom the UNDP Regional Roma survey 2004 and theUNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011.Notes: 1) The jobless rate is defned as the proportion o the gender-/ethnic-specifc working age (15-64) population which is neither in education nor employment.2) The ratio is defned so that equality = 100, to acilitate comparability.Changes in this ratio show the percentage point change in the likelihood o aRoma woman being jobless compared to a non-Roma women.
Figure 7:Percentage point changes in jobless rates o Roma and non-Roma women, and in the ratio betweenthem, 2004-2011
 
Roma non-Roma3,53,02,62,51,27,21,00,8-67-6-19-3-8-2-1792813517218RSROMKMEHRBGBAALRoma non-Roma172-6202265141494131511-2015-303-13-108-77-63-15-160RSROMKMEHRBGBAAL514177-41582282161072018-795-4-38-27-50-32-37RSROMKMEHRBGBAAL

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