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Author: Haugen, Steven E.
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Gabriel, Paul E.
Haugen, Steven E.
An Examination of Occupational Mobility among Full-Time Workers
Monthly Labor Review 126,9 (September 2003): 32-40.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: U.S. Department of Labor
Keyword(s): Earnings; Gender Differences; Mobility, Occupational; Occupational Choice; Transition, Job to Job

As workers approached mid-career in the late 1990s, they saw an increase in their occupational stability; however, mobility rates varied between men and women in certain occupations

There is extensive literature on the processes that influence the occupational choices of workers. However, less attention is devoted to examining the rate at which workers move from one occupation to another. Fortunately, the availability of panel data sets makes it possible to measure the extent that workers shift jobs within the occupational distribution over time. This study explores recent trends in occupational mobility among full-time wage and salary workers in the United States as they move from young labor market entrants to their approach to mid-career. Our objective is to determine if their occupational mobility rates changed over time, and then to compare occupational mobility rates by gender.

The results of our analysis can provide an additional perspective on the recent increase in wage disparities between high- and low-income workers, an increase that has been well documented. In terms of equity, the recent increase in earnings inequality is generally viewed with concern among policymakers. However, several studies have suggested that an increase in labor-market mobility may actually counterbalance the growth in earnings inequality. This argument asserts that flexible labor markets provide ample opportunity for upward (and downward) mobility. Consequently, if an increase in the propensity of low-wage workers moves into higher-paying occupations, lifetime earnings inequality may be reduced in spite of increases in annual cross-sectional measures of labor-market inequality.

Bibliography Citation
Gabriel, Paul E. and Steven E. Haugen. "An Examination of Occupational Mobility among Full-Time Workers." Monthly Labor Review 126,9 (September 2003): 32-40.