Profiles of Employability and their Career and Psychological Implications among Unemployed Youth

Grand H.L. Cheng, Darius K.S. Chan, Wing Tung Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Employability may play an important role in the job seeking behavior and well-being among unemployed youth. To date, the literature has tended to study the indicators of employability individually, without considering the intertwinement among them. The present research (N = 447 unemployed youth [16 to 24 years] in Hong Kong) addressed this gap. We adopted latent profile analysis to examine eight employability indicators (proactivity, boundaryless mindset, identity awareness, career self-efficacy, education level, work experience, networking, and social support). Four employability profiles were identified: high employability, moderate employability, low social support, and low adaptability – career identity. These profiles differed in job search intensity and psychological health. Mediation analysis revealed that the impact of employability profiles was channeled through perceived upward mobility. Our latent profile approach has captured the reality of employability and thus provided a valid picture of its impact among unemployed youth. The observed mediating effect of perceived upward mobility illustrates what employability means in social identity terms. This study has contributed to the understanding of unemployed youth’s quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2219
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Employability
  • Job search intensity
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Perceived upward mobility
  • Psychological health
  • Youth unemployment


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