Reconceptualising Youth Poverty through the Lens of Precarious Employment during the Pandemic : The Case of Creative Industry

Ngai PUN*, Peier CHEN, Shuheng JIN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding 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.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • Hong Kong
  • in-work poverty
  • precarious employment
  • social policy
  • Youth


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