Risks of youth poverty in relation to employment have largely been overlooked both internationally and locally, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving beyond the concepts of income, economic factors and in-work poverty as applied to the general population, we examine the multi-scalar employment risk confronting highly educated working youth (aged eighteen to twenty-nine) in Hong Kong by assessing the intersection of precarious employment and in-work poverty, which is crucial to understanding youth poverty. Drawing on in-depth interview research on creative workers, this study calls for the reconceptualisation of in-work poverty through the lens of precarious employment, which is not viewed as a separate economic entity, but as an organic whole encompassing a multi-scalar risk in economic, social, psychological and political terrains generating an existential problem shaping young people’s sense of future and work-life meaning. This article sheds light on the policy implications of high-educated youth suffering from in-work poverty in the creative industry.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research project (Project Number: SR2020. A8. 028) is funded by the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme from the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.
- Hong Kong
- in-work poverty
- precarious employment
- social policy