Thursday, January 11, 2007

Overstating Workplace Uncertainty

The Economist's Free Exchange is a great read, and there is an excellent post today on the degree to which people overestimate the job uncertainty faced by college-educated workers:

The extent of outsourcing service industry jobs has been exaggerated. According to Mary Amiti and Shang-Jin Wei of the IMF, outsourcing of service jobs has grown, but it still makes up less than 1% of GDP. In value terms, the US imports more service jobs than it exports. Actually, the US and UK have maintained their position as the world's largest net exporters of business services.

When it comes to job stability, it is important to distinguish between people who leave a job because they found a better one, and those who lost their job. In the 1990s the rate of job separation did increase for middle income workers, but a majority of these separations were job-to-job changes. A job-to-job change means the worker went from one job directly into the next. The rate of job-to-job movements is twice the rate of moving to unemployment. Bruce Fallick and Charles Fleischman found that college-educated and middle age workers are the most likely to experience a job-to-job transition, rather than a transition into unemployment. In the 1990s the probability of older college-educated workers losing their job did increase somewhat, but these types of workers were still almost two and half times more likely to have left their job for another one, rather than being unceremoniously sacked.

So where's my better job?

Back to the top.

No comments: