The duration of the
first employment spell of workers across five different birth cohorts is investigated
using pooled data from the 15th and 20th cycles of the Canadian General Social
Survey. These retrospective surveys contain information that spans well over
the last half of the 20th century. The data are benchmarked against the Labour
Force Survey to emphasize the distinct nature of employment spells vis-a-vis job tenures as commonly used in the literature. Overall, this paper contributes
to the debate of employment stability by analyzing the differences between job
and employment durations and showing that successive cohorts of workers have
had increasingly shorter first employment durations. The analysis finds cohort
effects which play a significant role in explaining declining employment
tenure. The cohort effects can be seen as a proxy for a number of
socio-economic factors that affect the hazard of separation from employment.
Separate analysis is completed for men and women by birth cohort. This pattern
of declining tenure has occurred for both men and women, but the decline has
been far more prominent for men. For men, macroeconomic factors affect the
hazard more strongly in more recent cohorts, which is consistent with recessionary
periods generating decreasing employment stability across cohorts. For women,
cohort effects are consistent with the increasing generosity of maternity leave
provisions through Unemployment Insurance.
Cite this paper
Ignaczak, L. (2014) A Birth Cohort Analysis of First Employment Spells. Applied Mathematics
, 1651-1671. doi: 10.4236/am.2014.511159
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