Did Job Security Decline in the 1990’s

Jay Stewart


This paper examines long term trends in job security by looking at employment-to-unemployment transitions in the March CPS. Unlike other datasets used to examine this issue, these data provide a consistently defined measure for the period covering 1967 through 1997, are available every year, and cover all workers. I find that job security appears to have declined during the early 1970s, but from the mid 1970s through the mid-to-late 1990s, there has been no change. These findings are consistent with the popular perception that jobs were less secure in the 1980s than in the 1970s, but they are not consistent with the perception that job security continued to decline in the 1990s.