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The Evolution of Multiple Jobholding in the U.S. Labor Market: The Complete Picture of Gross Worker Flows

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  • Lalé, Etienne

    () (University of Québec at Montréal)

Abstract

The U.S. labor market experienced a more than 20 percent reduction in the share of workers holding multiple jobs over the past 20 years. While this substantial trend is receiving increasing attention, the literature lacks a comprehensive picture of the gross worker flows that underlie the evolution of multiple jobholding. In this paper, first we construct new estimates of worker transitions into and out of multiple jobholding based on a Markov chain model that addresses several measurement issues. In particular, we show that time-aggregation bias cannot be ignored, as has been done in previous studies: workers typically hold a second job for a short period of time, which imparts a large bias in the estimates of transition probabilities. We go on to conduct a decomposition of the downward trend in multiple jobholding into the evolution of the underlying worker flows. This decomposition indicates that the trend is overwhelmingly explained by the dwindling propensity of full-time workers to take on a second job. We view the decrease in multiple jobholding as another manifestation of the changing labor supply behavior of U.S. workers observed during the past decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Lalé, Etienne, 2016. "The Evolution of Multiple Jobholding in the U.S. Labor Market: The Complete Picture of Gross Worker Flows," IZA Discussion Papers 10355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10355
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    multiple jobholding; worker flows; trend decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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