Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 18-286

**Published Version**

In Labour 33(3): 241-277




With falling labor market dynamism in the United States, opportunities within firms take on increasing importance in young workers’ career progression. Developing a variety of occupational ranking metrics, I show that occupational mobility within firms follows a standard life cycle pattern in which the frequency, distance, and wage return from mobility falls with age. However, when upward and downward mobility are considered separately, the average magnitude of directional mobility increases through middle age. I find that wage growth for young workers deteriorated substantially in the first decade of the 2000s, primarily driven by a reduction in wage growth within firms. Encouragingly, wage growth has improved markedly for young workers since 2012.

Issue Date

April 12, 2018

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Job security and unemployment dynamics; Job search; Wages, health insurance and other benefits


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Forsythe, Eliza C. 2018. "Careers within Firms: Occupational Mobility over the Life Cycle." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 18-286. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.