Measuring Gross Worker and Job Flows
May 01, 1995
Steven J. Davis and John Haltiwanger

We combine information from several different studies and data sets to assemble a fuller, more accurate picture of job flows and worker flows in U.S. labor markets.

Our picture characterizes the magnitude of job and worker flows, the connections between them, their cyclical behavior, differences among identifiable groups of workers and employers, the spatial concentration of job flows, and other aspects of labor market dynamics. We also assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. data sets that are currently available for measuring labor market flows, and we clarify the relationships among various measures of labor market flow activity that appear in the literature.

Finally, we discuss prospects for using administrative records maintained by U.S. government agencies to develop new longitudinal data sets that would permit timely, detailed, and comprehensive measures of gross job and worker flows.