Concentration in Us Labor Markets: Evidence from Online Vacancy Data

30 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018 Last revised: 21 Mar 2018

José Azar

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Ioana Elena Marinescu

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marshall Steinbaum

Roosevelt Institute

Bledi Taska

Burning Glass Technologies

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Using data on the near-universe of online US job vacancies collected by Burning Glass Technologies in 2016, we calculate labor market concentration using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) for each commuting zone by 6-digit SOC occupation. The average market has an HHI of 4,378, or the equivalent of 2.3 recruiting employers. 60% of labor markets are highly concentrated (above 2,500 HHI) according to the DOJ/FTC guidelines. Highlyconcentrated markets account for 20% of employment. Many plausible alternative market definitions show that more than 40% of markets are highly concentrated, suggesting that employers have market power in many US labor markets.

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Suggested Citation

Azar, José and Marinescu, Ioana Elena and Steinbaum, Marshall and Taska, Bledi, Concentration in Us Labor Markets: Evidence from Online Vacancy Data (March 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24395. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3138347

José Azar (Contact Author)

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Ioana Elena Marinescu

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice ( email )

3701 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marshall Steinbaum

Roosevelt Institute ( email )

1789 Lanier Pl. NW Apt. 1
Washington, DC 20009
United States

Bledi Taska

Burning Glass Technologies ( email )

One Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
United States

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