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Is Job Stability in the United States Falling?

Author

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  • Jaeger, David A.

    () (CUNY Graduate Center)

  • Stevens, Ann Huff

    (affiliation not available)

Abstract

Documenting trends in job stability over the past twenty-five years has become a controversial exercise. The two main sources of information on employer tenure, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Current Population Survey (CPS), have generally given different pictures of the degree of job stability in the U.S. economy. This paper examines whether the PSID and CPS yield systematically different results with respect to comparable measures of job stability. Both data sets show an increase in the fraction of male workers aged 30 and over with tenure less than ten years beginning in the late 1980s. There is little evidence in either data set of a trend in the share of employed individuals with one year or less of tenure. The two data sets provide nearly identical results for the 1980s and 90s while in the 1970s they give results that are somewhat less comparable. We argue that this is probably the result of changes in the CPS tenure question following the 1981 survey. The effects of this change and the choice of ending year and variable definition in PSID-based studies are the most likely explanations for the disparate findings in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaeger, David A. & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling?," IZA Discussion Papers 35, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp35
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. MacKinnon, James G. & White, Halbert, 1985. "Some heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimators with improved finite sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 305-325, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyoo-il Kim & José Carlos Rodríguez-Pueblita, 2005. "Are Married Women Secondary Workers? The Evolution of Married Women's Labor Supply in the U.S. from 1983 to 2000: Working Paper 2005-11," Working Papers 17570, Congressional Budget Office.
    2. H. J. Holzer & R. J. LaLonde, "undated". "Job Change and Job Stability among Less-Skilled Young Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1191-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Bergemann, Annette & Mertens, Antje, 2000. "Job stability trends, layoffs and quits: An empirical analysis for West Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,102, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    4. Henry S. Farber, 2007. "Is the Company Man an Anachronism? Trends in Long Term Employment in the U.S., 1973-2006," Working Papers 1039, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Alison L. Booth & Yu-Fu Chen & Gylfi Zoega, 2002. "Hiring and Firing: A Tale of Two Thresholds," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 217-248, Part.
    6. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1998. "The decline of job security in the 1990s: displacement, anxiety, and their effect on wage growth," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 17-43.
    7. Ann Huff Stevens, 2005. "The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: Trends in Long-term Employment in the United States, 1969-2002," NBER Working Papers 11878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alicia H. Munnell & Kelly Haverstick & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, 2006. "Job Tenure and Pension Coverage," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2006.
    9. Leonardi, Marco, 2003. "Earnings Instability of Job Stayers and Job Changers," IZA Discussion Papers 946, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Marco Leonardi & Luca Flabbi, 2008. "Sources of Earnings Instability: Estimates from an On-the-Job Search Model of the U.S. Labor Market," 2008 Meeting Papers 308, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S & Weathers, Robert, 2000. "Horatio Alger Meets the Mobility Tables," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 243-274, June.
    12. Flabbi, Luca & Leonardi, Marco, 2010. "Sources of earnings inequality: Estimates from an on-the-job search model of the US labor market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 832-854, August.
    13. Mertens, Antje, 1999. "Job stability trends and labor market (re-)entry in West Germany 1984 - 1997," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,60, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    14. Cappelli, Peter, 2004. "Why do employers pay for college?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 213-241.
    15. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2003. "The shareholder value society: A review of the changes in working conditions and inequality in the U.S., 1976-2000," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt0z85d717, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    16. John M. Fitzgerald, 1999. "Job Instability and Earnings and Income Consequences: Evidence from SIPP: 1983-1995," JCPR Working Papers 99, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    17. José María Arranz & Carlos García-Serrano, "undated". "¿Qué Ha Sucedido Con La Estabilidad Del Empleo En España?. Un Análisis Desagregado Con Datos De La Epa: 1987-2003(*)," Working Papers 4-04 Classification-JEL :, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    18. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Alicia H. Munnell & Steven Sass & Mauricio Soto & Natalia Zhivan, 2006. "Has the Displacement of Older Workers Increased?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-17, Center for Retirement Research, revised Sep 2006.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    U.S.economy; job stability;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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