OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

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The Ins and Outs of Employment in 25 OECD Countries

This paper presents quantitative information on labour market flows for 25 OECD countries. It uses household surveys that offer the advantage of reporting monthly transitions between employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for individuals. Between 2005 and 2012, the annual probability of leaving employment averaged 10% across OECD countries. Jobless people have a 30% average probability of finding a job. The analysis uncovers significant cross-country differences and highlights key facts about how labour market flows differ depending on socio-demographic, worker characteristics and the institutional framework. Female, young, low educated and low income workers are at highest risk of becoming jobless. Young jobless individuals have higher chances of finding a job than their older counterparts. Female, low educated and low income jobless individuals face a lower probability of finding a job than others.


Keywords: socio-economic inequality, skills, employment transitions, unemployment, labour market
JEL: J62: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; J82: Labor and Demographic Economics / Labor Standards: National and International / Labor Standards: Labor Force Composition; J23: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Demand; J63: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
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