THE OLDER UNEMPLOYED WORKER’S CONUNDRUM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA: FIND A JOB OR LEAVE THE LABOUR MARKET?
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We analyse labour market prospects of unemployed Czechs and Slovaks aged 50 – 65. Those aged 55 and over face the most diminished opportunities for re-employment and the strongest incentives to withdraw from the labour force. Women and individuals in poor health also fall into strongly disadvantaged/ discouraged subcategories. Education levels or regional economic conditions do not significantly affect the re-employment odds. While these trends are similar in both countries, older Czechs face a lower probability of remaining unemployed, due to more frequent use of labour force withdrawals as an exit from unemployment. More frequent withdrawals occur in all subcategories of older unemployed Czechs, and can be observed after any comparable unemployment duration. The probability of re-employment of older Czechs and Slovaks is equivalent early in an unemployment spell, but becomes higher for older Slovaks after the fifth month of unemployment, even for those aged 60+. We suspect that the higher pensionable age in the Czech Republic is unlikely to function as a strong push factor to return to employment. We also point to the shorter duration of unemployment benefits for older Slovaks, which may encourage more job-finding effort.
541 – 562
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