The public believes that job security has deteriorated dramatically in the United
States. In this study, I examine job durations from eight supplements to the Current
Population Survey (CPS) administered between 1973 and 1993 in order to determine
if, in fact, there has been a systematic change in the likelihood of long-term
employment. In order to measure changes in the distribution of job durations, I
examine changes in selected quantiles (the median and the 0.9 quantile) of the
distribution of duration of jobs in progress. I also examine selected points in the
cumulative distribution function including the fraction of workers who have been with
their employer 1) less than one year, 2) more than ten years, and 3) more than twenty
The central findings are clear. By the measures I examine, there has been no
systematic change in the overall distribution of job duration over the last two decades,
but the distribution of long-term jobs across the population has changed in two ways.
First, individuals, particularly men, with little education (less than twelve years) are
substantially less likely to be in long jobs today than they were twenty years ago.
Second, women with at least a high-school education are substantially more likely to
be in long jobs today than they were twenty years ago.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
In Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, John Haltiwanger, Marilyn Manser, and Robert Topel, eds. University of Chicago Press, 1998
Farber, H. (1995). Are Lifetime Jobs Disappearing? Job Duration in the United States: 1973-1993. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01ng451h49q (Original work published January 1995)
Working Papers

I use a sample of over fourteen thousand full-time jobs held by workers
in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to examine mobility
patterns and to evaluate theories of inter-firm worker mobility. The roles
of both heterogeneity and state dependence in determining mobility rates for
young workers are investigated, and both are found to be very important.
There are three main findings. First, mobility is strongly positively
related to the frequency of job change prior to the start of the Job.
Second, job change in the most recent year prior to the start of the job is
more strongly related than earlier job change to mobility on the current job.
Third, the monthly hazard of job ending is not monotonically decreasing in
tenure as most earlier work using annual data has found, but it increases to
a maximum at three months and declines thereafter. The first two findings
suggest that there is important heterogeneity in mobility but that this
heterogeneity is not fixed over time (workers might mature). The third
finding is consistent with models of heterogeneous match quality that cannot
be observed ex ante. I also find that females hold fewer Jobs per year in
the labor force than males and that this result is driven by a lower exit
rate for females from the first job after entry.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of Labor Economics, October, 1994
Farber, H. (1992). The Analysis of Inter-Firm Worker Mobility. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01qb98mf46z (Original work published October 1992)
Working Papers