The Long-Term Costs of Job Displacement for Young Adult Workers
Using NLSY data, the authors estimate the long-term costs of job displacement for young adults. Earnings and wage losses were large for the first three years following displacement. Compared to earnings losses found by other studies for more mature workers, however, earnings losses for these young adults were short-lived, with differences between observed and expected earnings narrowing considerably five years after job loss. At that point, the shortfall in annual earnings (relative to what would have been expected absent job loss) was 9% for men and 12.5% for women, and the shortfall in hourly wages was 21.2% for men. Young workers also apparently differ from more established workers in the composition of total earnings losses: for older workers, total losses largely represent actual, immediate earnings losses, whereas for young workers the loss of opportunities for rapid earnings growth is more important.