Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gross Flows from the CPS!

John Haltiwanger, of the University of Maryland, is famous for introducing and popularizing the "job flows" approach to understanding labor market dynamics, rather than relying on changes in stock measures of employment and unemployment. He and his CES gang at Census has made gross job flow data for the manufacturing industry available for some time. More recently, the BLS has given us the JOLTS survey and the BED survey, which also provide this kind of data. Census also has the QWI which is derived from the LEHD.

But new to me - and now available from the BLS - is what they call "labor force status flow data" derived from the CPS, or what Haltiwanger has called "worker flows". Worker flows complement the job flows that Haltiwanger has done a lot of work with already.

This is really cool. People could always derive worker flows from the monthly CPS, but for someone like me who doesn't have the time to do that, this is really exciting!

I'll add on more later, including links to the other data sources I mentioned above and more on the significance of all this. I just don't have time now. For those who are curious, the Monthly Labor Review recently published an article contrasting three of these data sources (JOLTS, BED, and this new CPS data). This article first alerted me to the availability of this data.

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