Employment Flows and Job Tenure in Canada
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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