Transitions in the Labour Market: Evidence from the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 01/98

Date: January 1997


Thorsten Stromback
Michael Dockery
Wiwi Ying


This paper investigates factors associated with changes to people's labour market status over the 12 month period September 1994 to September 1995. Overall, 28 per cent of people looking for working at the beginning of the period were working by September 1995 and 21 per cent of working people became 'lookers'. Regression analysis found that the transition from looking to working was associated with age - prime age people were more likely to become workers; disability - the disabled were less likely to be working; labour market history - year of previous work experience was positively associated with one's chance of working; trade union membership - members were more likely to be working, and; household - people with a spouse working full-time were more likely to have gained a job. There is some evidence that the transition out of looking and into working was affected more by individual heterogeneity than state dependence.

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