Almost 40% of workers aged under 30 are in some kind of atypical working arrangement, according to research by the trade union-backed Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI).
The recent report, based on 2017 figures, found the norm for young workers was shifting towards part-time work – both temporary and permanent – as the share of full-time permanent jobs falls.
It also found an increased risk that part-time and temporary employment was becoming “more precarious” in recent years.
The report warns that headline figures for part-time and temporary employment, which show a return to normal levels in recent years, masks the true nature of precarious work for younger workers.
It says the share of permanent full-time jobs in new employment contracts has barely recovered following the financial crisis. Instead, higher shares of precarious employment in the labour market relative to the boom years are increasing financial insecurity and deprivation rates for younger workers.
The proportion of under-thirties in full-time permanent jobs fell from 75% in 2004 to 69% in 2008, and less than half of this ground had been recovered in five years of strong growth up to 2017.
Meanwhile, the share of people that are underemployed (part-time workers who would rather have a full-time job) is almost 50% higher than it was in 2007.