July 18, 2001
Among workers who were displaced in 1997 and 1998 and then found a new job, the median amount of time without work was 5.3 weeks. This was lower than the median 7.6 weeks for those displaced in 1995-96 and down by three weeks from the median 8.3 weeks for workers displaced in 1993-94.
Median weeks without work for reemployed displaced workers varied by age. Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 had the shortest spells of joblessness—3.0 weeks. Those in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups had longer spells—6.3 weeks and 6.2 weeks, respectively.
For the oldest group, age 55 and over, median weeks without work for the reemployed were somewhat lower than for 35-to-44-year-olds and 45-to-54-year-olds. However, older workers were much less likely to be reemployed—their reemployment rate was 54 percent, compared to 84 percent for workers aged 25 to 54 years.
Figures cited here are for "long-tenured workers"—those who had been in their jobs for 3 years or longer. Displaced workers lose their jobs because their plants or companies close down or move, their positions or shifts are abolished, or their employers do not have enough work for them to do.
These data are from a February 2000 supplement to the Current Population Survey. Note that the reemployment rate is the proportion of displaced workers employed at the time of the survey. Find more information on displaced workers in "Worker displacement in a strong labor market," by Ryan T. Helwig, Monthly Labor Review, June 2001.