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Mobility and unemployment in the Portuguese labour market

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Abstract

MOBILITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE PORTUGUESE LABOUR MARKET MOBILITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE PORTUGUESE LABOUR MARKET* Pe dro Por tu gal ** Mó ni ca Dias ** 1. INTRODUCTION A con ven tional way of char ac ter is ing the la - bour mar ket state con sists of breaking- down popu la tion at work ing age into em ployed, un em - ployed and out of la bour force. Fol low ing these vari ables through short pe ri ods of time sug gests that their be hav iour is quite sta ble. How ever, the ap par ent sta bil ity may re sult from ei ther the weak in ten sity of flows be tween the three states con sid ered or the com pen sa tion be tween those flows — even if these are size able. A more pre - cise char ac teri sa tion would re quire the meas ure - ment of gross flows of work ers, along side the cor re spond ing net flows. The mi cro data sup port - ing the Em ploy ment Sur vey re leased by the In sti - tuto Na cional de Es tatís tica (INE) al low for a de - tailed analy sis of the Por tu guese la bour mar ket flows, and for a char ac teri sa tion of its mecha - nism(1). 2. INTENSITY OF LABOUR MARKET FLOWS The set of ob served tran si tions be tween the em ploy ment, un em ploy ment and out of la bour force states ref er to the pe ri od run ning from the fourth quar ter of 1995 up to the fourth quar ter of 1996 (dia gram 1). Here, tran si tions be tween dif - fer ent states are dis tin guished from changes oc - curred within each state — in so far as the lat ter in volve a pas sage through a new job over the course of the year. The main char ac ter is tic to be drawn from the tran si tion val ues is the high sta bil ity of the la bour mar ket. A large share of in di vidu als re port the same la bour mar ket state at both mo ments. Ini - tially em ployed in di vidu als rec ord very low flows into un em ploy ment and out of la bour force; on the con trary, job switch ing is much more fre quent — reach ing 7 per cent of em ploy ment through out the year(2). Tran si tions from in di vidu als

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