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Employment Flows and Job Tenure in Canada

  • Louis N. Christofides
  • C. J. McKenna

Data from Canada's 1986-87 Labour Market Activity Survey (LMAS) are used to study the pattern of employment flows, and to construct various estimates of average job duration. A subsample of 58,458 observed jobs are classified according to their start dates and their termination date, if any. Thus our sample consists of both completed and censored employment spells. In the case of terminations, data are available on the reason for employment ending. The distribution of completed spell lengths, which indicates the steady-state flow of new jobs, is highly skewed, with a mode around 10 weeks. Using the Akerlof and Main (1981) termination-weighted measure of job expectancy in the stock of jobs we find this to be around eight years. Our findings on job durations are comparable with those for the United States and Great Britain. In addition, average durations vary systematically with age, sex, industry, occupation, education, province, firm-size and unionization.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 19 (1993)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 145-161

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:19:y:1993:i:2:p:145-161
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  1. Main, Brian G M, 1982. "The Length of a Job in Great Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 325-33, August.
  2. Stephen R. G. Jones, 1993. "Cyclical and Seasonal Properties of Canadian Gross Flows of Labour," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, March.
  3. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J, 1991. "The Duration of Employment Opportunities in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 216-27, May.
  4. Stephen W. Salant, 1974. "Search theory and duration data: a theory of sorts," Special Studies Papers 42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. George L. Perry, 1972. "Unemployment Flows in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 245-292.
  6. Hashimoto, Masanori & Raisian, John, 1985. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 721-35, September.
  7. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "Panel Estimates of Male and Female Job Turnover Behavior: Can Female Nonquitters Be Identified?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 156-81, April.
  8. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1986. "In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: The Extent of Frictional and Structural Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Charles M. Beach & S. F. Kaliski, 1983. "Measuring the Duration of Unemployment from Gross Flow Data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 258-63, May.
  10. A. Hasan & P. Broucker, 1982. "Duration and Concentration of Unemployment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 735-56, November.
  11. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-53, July.
  12. Stephen R G Jones, 1992. "The Cyclical and Seasonal Behaviour of Canadian Gross Flows of Labour," Department of Economics Working Papers 1992-01, McMaster University.
  13. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
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