Career Stability in 14 Finnish Industrial Employee Cohorts in 1988–2015




It is often argued that global competition and technological development have made industrial jobs more unstable. In this article, we ask how career stability has evolved in the Finnish forest, metal, and chemical industries, comparing 14 cohorts (age groups) by gender and educational level. We focus on industrial employees born in 1958–1971 and compare their career stability at ages 30–44 using Statistics Finland’s linked employer-employee data from 1988 to 2015 and an application of sequence analysis. We analyze career stability over time by examining annual main labor market statuses (employed, unemployed, student, disabled, retired, out of the labor force), adding estimators for workplace and industry changes. The results show no evidence of career destabilization across the cohorts, but they do reveal persistent inequalities between industrial employees with low and high levels of education, and between men and women.

Author Biographies

Satu Ojala, Tampere University

University lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences. E-mail:

Pasi Pyöriä, Tampere University

Senior lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences

Aart-Jan Riekhoff, Finnish Centre for Pensions

Senior researcher


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How to Cite

Ojala, S., Pyöriä, P., & Riekhoff, A.-J. (2021). Career Stability in 14 Finnish Industrial Employee Cohorts in 1988–2015. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 11(2).