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Job Turnover in Irish Manufacturing, 1972-2006

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  • Lawless, Martina
  • Murphy, Alan

Abstract

While growth in output and employment remains relatively strong in the Irish economy, there has been considerable focus recently on some high-profile job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector. This paper places these developments within a broader context and shows that aggregate changes in the net number of jobs arise from large numbers of firms both increasing and decreasing employment simultaneously at all points in time. Even at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom when employment grew by 8 percent, this was the result of 15 percent growth in jobs by expanding firms offset by 7 percent of positions being eliminated in firms that were contracting their workforces. One important feature of job flows is that they may contribute to productivity growth by allowing movements from low to high productivity firms. To a degree, this reflects the re-allocation of jobs from declining sectors to expanding sectors, but this is not a comprehensive explanation. A significant factor underlying job flows is the reallocation within sectors from under-performing firms to expanding firms. This study also shows that productivity growth is, on balance, positive for employment growth, as it results, more often than not, in increased employment and higher earnings rather than job losses. On the other hand, these calculations also show how hard it is for policy-makers to identify firms that will be employment and productivity growth winners.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10009.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10009

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Keywords: Job flows; productivity; Irish economy;

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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Burda, Michael C & Wyplosz, Charles, 1993. "Gross Worker and Job Flows in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Merz, Monika, 1999. "Heterogeneous job-matches and the cyclical behavior of labor turnover," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-124, February.
  4. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
  6. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  7. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
  8. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1994. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," NBER Working Papers 4741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Konings, Jozef, 1995. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the UK Manufacturing Sector," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 5-24, February.
  10. Gomez-Salvador, Ramon & Messina, Julian & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2004. "Gross job flows and institutions in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, August.
  11. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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