Young Workers in Transition: Explaining the Density Gap by a Life-course Perspective




Employment, Wages, Unemployment & Rehabilitation, Labor Market Institutions & Social Partners


A common challenge for all trade unions in most of the Western world is the growing trade union density gap between young and older workers. In this paper, we examine the generational trade union gap with point of departure in the Danish case. Our data stem from two large surveys (APL II & III).We find that young workers are not more individualized; to the contrary, unorganized young workers have a growing collective mind-set. Through the lens of a life-course perspective, our data show that young workers have a growing ‘fluidic’ working life. Many young workers also take jobs in parts of the labor market with weak trade unions representation not allowing them to get in contact with trade unions representatives.

Author Biographies

Laust Høgedahl, Aalborg University

Associate Professor, Department of Politics & Society. E-mail:

Rasmus Juul Møberg, Aalborg University

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Social Work


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How to Cite

Høgedahl, L., & Møberg, R. J. (2021). Young Workers in Transition: Explaining the Density Gap by a Life-course Perspective. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies.