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Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990's

  • David Neumark
  • Daniel Polsky
  • Daniel Hansen

In earlier work we examined the temporal evolution of job stability in U.S. labor markets through the 1980's, using data assembled from a sequence of Current Population Survey tenure supplements. We found little or no change in aggregate job stability in the U.S. economy. In addition, older and more-tenured workers experienced increases in job stability in the" latter part of the 1980's. In this paper we update the evidence on changes in job stability through the mid-1990's, using recently-released CPS data for 1995 that parallel the earlier job tenure supplements. Updating the evidence from systematic random samples of the population and workforce through this period is especially important because the media have painted a particularly stark picture of declining job stability in the 1990's. In the aggregate, there is some evidence that job stability declined modestly in the first half of the 1990's. Moreover, the relatively small aggregate changes mask rather sharp declines in stability for workers with more than a few years of tenure. Nonetheless, the data available to this point do not support the conclusion that the downward shift in job stability for more-tenured workers stability, reflect long-term trends.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6330.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 17, no. S4 (October 1999): pp. S29-S64
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6330
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