Is Employment Tenure Declining?
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This chapter explores mean employment tenure in the UK since the mid-1970s. A brief survey of pre-existing studies of UK tenure is offered. Then, the tenure of the labour force in aggregate is examined using data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the General Household Survey (GHS). Following this, the tenure for particular groups of workers, according to occupational or demographic criteria, is examined. It is found that, while for some groups tenure may have declined, for others it has clearly increased, creating a picture of relative aggregate stability of tenure. Tenure across the labour force proved, on aggregate, quite stable through the neoliberal period, with the typical employee in 2015 in a job that they can expect to last on average for 16 years, roughly the same as in 1975. Not only that but, while male tenure has declined somewhat, this is compensated for by a rise in female tenure, driven in part by changes to maternity legislation.
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