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A Short History of Labour Turnover, Job Tenure, and Job Security, 1975-93


  • Gregg, Paul
  • Wadsworth, Jonathan


How extensive is labour turnover and how does it vary by gender, skill and over time? Using survey data from Britain between 1975 and 1993, this study documents these features and discovers evidence of widening inequalities in job stability and security. For the majority still in full-time employment, average job durations are little changed from those of twenty years ago. For those seeking employment, however, current patterns of job creation mean that entry jobs are now of shorter duration, more unstable, and relatively less well paid. Nor do entry jobs offer sufficient access into stable jobs. As a result, entry jobs are increasingly taken by those with a partner in work, polarising the distribution of employment and thereby disenfranchising around one-fifth of working-age households from regular access to earned incomes. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1995. "A Short History of Labour Turnover, Job Tenure, and Job Security, 1975-93," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 73-90, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:11:y:1995:i:1:p:73-90

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Miikka Rokkanen & Roope Uusitalo, 2013. "Changes in Job Stability – Evidence from Lifetime Job Histories," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 36-55, Autumn.
    2. Michael W. L. Elsby & Jennifer C. Smith & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2011. "The role of worker flows in the dynamics and distribution of UK unemployment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 338-363.
    3. Bergemann, Annette & Mertens, Antje, 2004. "Job Stability Trends, Layoffs and Transitions to Unemployment - An Empirical Analysis for West Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2000. "Tenures That Shook the World: Worker Turnover in Russia, Poland, and Britain," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 639-664, December.
    5. Konstantinos Pouliakas & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2010. "Measuring the Utility Cost of Temporary Employment Contracts Before Adaptation: A Conjoint Analysis Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 688-709, October.
    6. Aline Valette, 2004. "Labour Market Segmentation : a Comparison between France and the UK From the Eighties to nowadays," Post-Print halshs-00082338, HAL.
    7. Ono, Hiroshi, 2010. "Lifetime employment in Japan: Concepts and measurements," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-27, March.
    8. Sandra Silva & Jorge Valente & Aurora Teixeira, 2012. "An evolutionary model of industry dynamics and firms’ institutional behavior with job search, bargaining and matching," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 7(1), pages 23-61, May.
    9. Armando Barrientos, 1998. "Supplementary pension coverage in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 429-446, November.
    10. Espen Bratberg & Kjell G. Salvanes & Kjell Vaage, 2010. "Has Job Stability Decreased? Population Data from a Small Open Economy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(1), pages 163-183, March.
    11. Sue Fernie & David Metcalf, 1998. "(Not)Hanging on the Telephone: Payment systems in the New Sweatshops," CEP Discussion Papers dp0390, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Simon Burgess, 1999. "The Reallocation of Labour: An International Comparison Using Job Tenure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0416, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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