On gross worker flows in the United Kingdom: evidence from the Labour Force Survey
Empirical studies of worker flows in the United States and Europe have found that these flows are large when compared with the change in the stocks of employment and non-employment, and have a distinct cyclical pattern. In the United Kingdom, studies of this kind have been hampered by limitations in the available data. In this paper use is made of newly released longitudinal data from the Labour Force Survey. It is shown that, on average, since 1993 7.3% of those in the working-age population have changed labour market state in a given three-month period. This compares with a consistently calculated annual figure of 12.5%. In addition, an array of evidence is presented to show that UK gross flows appear to follow a cyclical pattern similar to those found in other countries. Evidence is also presented on the potential problems that previous research may suffer from with their use of recall data to determine prior labour market status. While stocks are similar using recall or recorded labour market state, flows inferred from recall data are severely biased by recall error.
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