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Job Vacancy Rates in the Firm: An Empirical Analysis

  • Harry J. Holzer

In this paper I present some evidence on the magnitudes and determinants of job vacancy rates at the firm level. The data are from a survey of firms in 1980 and 1982, as well as from 1980 Census data on industry and local area characteristics. The results show that overall job vacancy rates are low but there is substantial variation across firms, occupations, industries, and local areas. Unemployment rates, either local or aggregate, have negative effects on vacancy rates while average industry skill levels have positive effects, thus indicating the importance of the firm's demand for skills. Large and/or unionized firms have relatively low vacancy rates, which also account for the low vacancy rates of high-wage firms; and firms with high turnover and recent sales growth have higher vacancy rates. Thus, a variety of market conditions and firm characteristics influence vacancy rates at the firm level.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3524.

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Date of creation: Dec 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Economica, Vol. 61, no. 241 (1994): 17-36.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3524
Note: LS
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  1. Harry J. Holzer, 1990. "Wages, employer costs, and employee performance in the firm," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 147-164, February.
  2. Albrecht, James & Axell, Bo, 1983. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Working Papers 83-10, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Freeman, Richard B, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
  4. Jackman, R & Layard, Richard & Pissarides, C, 1989. "On Vacancies," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 377-94, November.
  5. Sattinger, Michael, 1990. "Unemployment, the Market for Interviews, and Wage Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 356-71, April.
  6. Hansen, Bent, 1970. "Excess Demand, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23, February.
  7. Blackburn-Mckinley, L. & Bloom, D.E. & Freeman, R.B., 1989. "The Declining Economic Position Of Less-Skilled American Males," Discussion Papers 1989_41, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Harry J. Holzer, 1988. "Structural/Frictional and Demand-Deficient Unemployment in Local Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 2652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Holzer, Harry J & Katz, Lawrence F & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-68, August.
  10. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
  11. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "Factor Market Search and the Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 325-55, April.
  12. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
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