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Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Employer-to-Employer Flows in the United States: Estimates Using Linked Employer-Employee Data
Melissa Bjelland, Bruce Fallick, John Haltiwanger, and Erika McEntarfer

Abstract: We use administrative data linking workers and firms to study employer-to-employer flows. After discussing how to identify such flows in quarterly data, we investigate their basic empirical patterns. We find that the pace of employer-to-employer flows is high, representing about 4 percent of employment and 30 percent of separations each quarter. The pace of employer-to-employer flows is highly procyclical, and varies systematically across worker, job and employer characteristics. Our findings regarding job tenure and earnings dynamics suggest that for those workers moving directly to new jobs, the new jobs are generally better jobs; however, this pattern is highly procyclical. There are rich patterns in terms of origin and destination of industries. We find somewhat surprisingly that more than half of the workers making employer-to-employer transitions switch even broadly-defined industries (NAICS super-sectors).

Keywords: Employer-to-employer flows, jobs flows, worker flows, turnover

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Last update: July 24, 2007