Employer-to-Employer Flows in the U.S. Labor Market: The Complete Picture of Gross Worker Flows

48 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2004

See all articles by Bruce Fallick

Bruce Fallick

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Charles A. Fleischman

Federal Reserve Board - Macroeconomic Analysis Section

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

Despite the importance of employer-to-employer (EE) flows to our understanding of labor market and business cycle dynamics, the literature has lacked a comprehensive and representative measure of the size and character of these flows. To construct the first reliable measures of EE flows for the United States, this paper exploits the dependent interviewing techniques introduced in the Current Population Survey in 1994. The paper concludes that EE flows are large: On average 2.6 percent of employed persons change employers each month, a flow more than twice as large as that from employment to unemployment. Indeed, on-the-job search appears to be an important element in hiring, as nearly two-fifths of new jobs started between 1994 and 2003 represented employer changes. EE flows are also markedly procyclical, although the cyclicality is concentrated around the recession: EE flows did not increase as the labor market tightened between 1994 and 2000, but they did drop sharply as the labor market loosened during the period 2001 through 2003. We view the uneven cyclical pattern of EE flows as a pattern to be incorporated into future models.

Keywords: Accessions, business cycle, gross flows, job creation, job destruction, job-to-job, on-the-job search, separations, turnover, worker flows

JEL Classification: J63, J64, J21, E24

Suggested Citation

Fallick, Bruce and Fleischman, Charles A., Employer-to-Employer Flows in the U.S. Labor Market: The Complete Picture of Gross Worker Flows (May 2004). FEDS Working Paper No. 2004-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=594824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.594824

Bruce Fallick (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

Charles A. Fleischman

Federal Reserve Board - Macroeconomic Analysis Section ( email )

20th & C. St., N.W.
Mailstop 80
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-452-6473 (Phone)

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