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Observing labour market adjustment: employment in the US construction industry 1983-1990

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Average annual employment of males in the US construction industry increased by 34% from 1983 to 1986. The paper takes the cohort of 440 male National Longitudinal Survey of Youth respondents born between October 1, 1961 and September 30, 1962 and evaluates the labour market experience of the 149 who worked in the construction sector during the period January 1983 to December 1990, examining the circumstances of entry and exit, training and changes in real wages and status. A comparison of the respondents'' experiences in the surge period 1983-1986 and the period of stability 1987-1990 reveals little difference, the construction sector exhibiting flexibility in its recruitment of labour and generation of skills. If labour market models form a spectrum with the manpower requirements model at an extreme, the neoclassical model in the centre, and a pure quantity adjustment model at the other extreme, a compromise between the last two would appear to be an adequate characterization for the construction industry.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20675/

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