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Does atypical work help the jobless? Evidence from a CAEAS/CPS cohort analysis

  • J. T. Addison
  • C. J. Surfield

Atypical employment, such as temporary, on-call and contract work, has been found disproportionately to attract the jobless. But there is no consensus in the literature as to the labour market consequences of such job choice by unemployed individuals. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we investigate the implications of the initial job-finding strategies pursued by the jobless for their short- and medium-term employment stability. At first sight, it appears that taking an offer of regular employment provides the greatest degree of employment continuity for the jobless. However, closer inspection indicates that the jobless who take up atypical employment are not only more likely to be employed 1 month and 1 year later than those who continue to search, but also to enjoy employment continuity that is not less favourable than that offered by regular, open-ended employment.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1077-1087

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:9:p:1077-1087
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  1. Henry S. Farber, 1999. "Alternative and Part-Time Employment Arrangements as a Response to Job Loss," NBER Working Papers 7002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  3. David Autor & Susan Houseman, 2005. "Temporary Agency Employment as a Way out of Poverty?," NBER Working Papers 11742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448, November.
  5. David H. Autor & Susan N. Houseman, 2010. "Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from "Work First"," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 96-128, July.
  6. Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth, 2002. "Welfare to Temporary Work: Implications for Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Zijl, Marloes & van den Berg, Gerard J & Heyma, Arjan, 2004. "Stepping-stones for the unemployed: The effect of temporary jobs on the duration until regular work," Working Paper Series 2004:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. Susan N. Houseman & Anne E. Polivka, 1999. "The Implications of Flexible Staffing Arrangements for Job Stability," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 99-56, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  9. Addison, John T. & Surfield, Christopher J., 2004. "The Use of Alternative Work Arrangements by the Jobless: Evidence from the CAEAS/CPS," IZA Discussion Papers 1378, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "Temporary services employment durations: evidence from state UI data," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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