International Trends in Insecure Work

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Summary & aims

An increase in insecure forms of work has been identified in most European countries. Fixed-term contracts, temporary working arrangements and employment via agencies have proliferated, arguably undermining ‘standard’ employment relationships and the securities they offer. Yet, while there is widespread agreement on the international expansion of insecure forms of work, the drivers and subsequent nature of that insecurity are thought to be highly variable. This report seeks to provide an account of these variations, in order to provide a concise and comparative account of international trends in insecure work.



This report was based on European Labour Force survey data, and supplemented with case study research purposively selected to demonstrate variance.

Timescale and funder

The project was funded by the Trade Union Congress. It began in January 2017 and was completed in April 2017.


Hudson-Sharp, N. and Runge, J. (2017) International trends in insecure work, TUC, NIESR.

"Insecure workers in Post-Brexit Britain: what does the future hold?" NIESR blog by Nathan Hudson-Sharp


Private: Johnny Runge
Principal Social Researcher


Private: Johnny Runge
Principal Social Researcher