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Elena Ayala-Hurtado

Research Findings

Stories of the future: Spanish graduates’ expectations amid pervasive employment precarity

June 2, 2022

As Julia, a 28-year-old college graduate in Madrid, Spain, described she and her friends’ persistent experiences with unemployment and precarious, low-paying employment, she burst into tears:   

“We’re doing badly in absolutely everything…It’s a limbo, what I call the professional limbo, in which the logical progression, which is you study, you go to high school, college, you have a job, has changed completely.”

Nonetheless, when Julia imagined her life in five years, she described herself in a stable professional trajectory—in a job she disliked as a private school teacher, but one she would be in permanently:

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