NLS user since 2011
Analyzing NLSY97 data I've found that "flexible" forms of employment commonly associated with the New Economy (such as independent contracting, freelancing, on-call work, and jobs that lack employer-provided benefits) appear to make the transition to adulthood more difficult for young people. For example, young adults with nonstandard employment are more likely to move back home in their late 20s and are less likely to get married by their early 30s compared to their peers with standard employment contracts.
I chose to work with the NLSY97 because it is the only nationally representative longitudinal survey that has measures of nonstandard employment, such as independent contracting, freelancing and on-call work. While this type of work is increasingly common and has attracted a lot of popular attention in the press, we know very little about the effects of such employment on individuals because good data on such jobs is notoriously scarce. The NLS is unique and wonderful because it allows researchers to identify these new forms of employment, which traditional surveys overlook. Using NLS, I've also been able to identify short-term employment and whether jobs provide health insurance or retirement benefits. All this data lets me paint a more nuanced picture of employment today and its impact on young adults.