Trends and Cycles in U.S. Job Mobility

23 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2018 Last revised: 20 Aug 2019

See all articles by Damir Stijepic

Damir Stijepic

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Date Written: August 15, 2019


Making use of the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), I study job mobility in the USA in 1975–2017. I document a pronounced increase in job mobility from the 1970s to the 1990s, i.e., the annual share of continuously employed job-to-job movers rises from 5.9 percent of the labor force in 1975–1979 to 8.8 percent in 1995–1999. Job mobility exhibits a downward trend since the turn of the millennium. Furthermore, job mobility has an unconditional correlation of –0.86 with the unemployment rate at business-cycle frequencies, varying by around three percentage points over the business cycle.

Keywords: job mobility, long-run trends, economic fluctuations, business cycles, productive efficiency, search and matching, on-the-job search, Fokker–Planck equation, Kolmogorov forward equation, Current Population Survey

JEL Classification: J62, E32, C51

Suggested Citation

Stijepic, Damir, Trends and Cycles in U.S. Job Mobility (August 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Damir Stijepic (Contact Author)

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ( email )

Jakob-Welder-Weg 9
Mainz, 55128


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