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

Abstract

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: satu.ojala@tuni.fi

Pasi Pyöriä, Tampere University

Senior lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences

Aart-Jan Riekhoff, Finnish Centre for Pensions

Senior researcher

References

Aisenbrey, S. & Fasang, A. (2010). New life for old ideas: The" second wave" of sequence analysis bringing the "course" back into the life course. Sociological Methods & Research 38(3): 420–462. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124109357532

Aisenbrey, S. & Fasang, A. (2017). The interplay of work and family trajectories over the life course: Germany and the United States in comparison. American Journal of Sociology 122(5): 1448–1484. https://doi.org/10.1086/691128

Allvin, M., Aronsson, G., Hagström, T., Johansson, G. & Lundberg, U. (2011). Work Without Boundaries: Psychological Perspectives on the New Working Life. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Anxo, D., Fagan, C., Cebrian, I. & Moreno, G. (2007). Patterns of labour market integration in Europe – A life course perspective on time policies. Socio-Economic Review 5(2): 233–260. https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwl019

Arnzt, M., Gregory, T. & Zierahn, U. (2016). The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A comparative Analysis. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers no. 189. Paris: OECD. https://doi.org/10.1787/5jlz9h56dvq7-en

Asplund, R., Barth, E., Lundborg, P. & Misje Nilsen, K. (2011). Polarization of the Nordic labour markets. Finnish Economic Papers 24(2): 87–110. https://www.taloustieteellinenyhdistys.fi/images/stories/fep/fep22011/fep22011_asplund.pdf [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Autor, D. (2014) Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 20485. https://www.nber.org/papers/w20485.pdf [retrieved 14 February 2020].

Bachmann, R. & Felder, R. (2019). Job stability in Europe over the cycle. International Labour Review 157(3): 481–518. https://doi.org/10.1111/ilr.12117

Bárány, Z. & Siegel, C. (2018). Job polarization and structural change. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 10(1): 57–89. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/mac.20150258 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Barone, C. & Schizzerotto, A. (2011). Career mobility, education, and intergenerational reproduction in five European societies. European Societies 13(3): 331–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2011.568248

Becker, R. & Blossfeld, H-P. (2017). Entry of men into the labour market in West Germany and their career mobility (1945–2008). A long-term longitudinal analysis identifying cohort, period, and life-course effects. Journal for Labour Market Research 50(1): 113–130. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12651-017-0224-6

Biemann, T., Fasang, A. & Grunow, D. (2011). Do economic globalization and industry growth destabilize careers? An analysis of career complexity and career patterns over time. Organization Studies 32(12): 1639–1663. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840611421246

Boockmann, B. & Steffes, S. (2010). Workers, firms, or institutions: What determines job duration for male employees in Germany? ILR Review 64(1): 109–127. https://doi.org/10.1177/001979391006400105

Brückner, H. & Mayer, K.U. (2005). De-standardization of the life course: What it might mean? And if it means anything, whether it actually took place? Advances in Life Course Research 9(1): 27–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1040-2608(04)09002-1

Brzinsky-Fay, C. & Solga, H. (2016). Compressed, postponed, or disadvantaged? School-to-work-transition patterns and early occupational attainment in West Germany. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 46(A): 21–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2016.01.004

Buchmann, M.C., Kriesi, I. & Sacchi, S. (2010). Labour market structures and women’s employment levels. Work, Employment and Society 24(2): 279–299. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017010362142

Bukodi, E. & Goldthorpe, J.H. (2011). Class origins, education and occupational attainment in Britain. European Societies 13(3): 347–375. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2011.568259

Böckerman, P., Kauhanen, A. & Maliranta, M. (2012). ICT and Occupation-based Measures of Organisational Change: Firm and Employee Outcomes. Working Papers No 2. Helsinki: ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy. http://hdl.handle.net/10419/201217 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Böckerman, P., Laaksonen, S. & Vainiomäki, J. (2013). Is There Job Polarization at the Firm Level? Tampere: University of Tampere, School of Management, Tampere economic working papers, net series. https://trepo.tuni.fi/handle/10024/94484 [retrieved 3 February 2020].

Cech, E.A. & Blair-Loy, M. (2019). The changing career trajectories of new parents in STEM. PNAS 116(10): 4182–4187. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810862116

Cirillo, V. (2018). Job polarization in European industries. International Labour Review 157(1): 39–63. https://doi.org/10.1111/ilr.12033

Elzinga C.H. (2010). Complexity of categorical time series. Sociological Methods & Research 38(3): 463–481. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124109357535

Elzinga, C.H. & Liefbroer, A.C. (2007). De-standardization of family-life trajectories of young adults: A cross-national comparison using sequence analysis. European Journal of Population / Revue européenne de Démographie 23(3–4): 225–250. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10680-007-9133-7

Elzinga, C.H. & Studer, M. (2015). Spell sequences, state proximities, and distance metrics. Sociological Methods & Research 44(1): 3–47. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124114540707

Eurofound (2018). Overview of New Forms of Employment – 2018 Update. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_publication/field_ef_document/ef18050en.pdf [retrieved 6 May 2020].

France, A. (2016). Understanding Youth in the Global Economic Crisis. Bristol: Policy Press.

Gabadinho, A., Ritschard, G., Studer, M. & Müller, N.S. (2009). Mining Sequence Data in R with the TraMineR Package: A User’s Guide. Geneva: University of Geneva, Department of Econometrics and Laboratory of Demography. http://mephisto.unige.ch/pub/TraMineR/doc/TraMineR-Users-Guide.pdf [retrieved 20 October 2019].

Goos, M., Manning, A. & Salomons, A. (2014). Explaining job polarization: Routine-biased technological change and offshoring. American Economic Review 104(8): 2509–2526. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.104.8.2509 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Halpern-Manners, A., Warren, R.J., Raymo, J. & Nicholson, A.D. (2015). The impact of work and family life histories on economic well-being at older ages. Social Forces 93(4): 1369–1396. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sov005

Hollister, M. (2011). Employment stability in the U.S. labor market: Rhetoric versus reality. Annual Review of Sociology 37(1): 305–324. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-soc-081309-150042 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Horemans, J. (2016). Polarisation of non-standard employment in Europe: Exploring a missing piece of the inequality puzzle. Social Indicators Research 125(1): 171–189. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0834-0

Hyman, R. (2018). What future for industrial relations in Europe? Employee Relations 40(4): 569–579. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ER-02-2018-0056/full/html

Jolkkonen, A., Koistinen, P. & Kurvinen, A. (2012). Reemployment of displaced workers – The case of a plant closing on a remote region in Finland. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 2(1): 81–100. https://doi.org/10.19154/njwls.v2i1.2353

Järvinen, K-M., Pyöriä, P., Ojala, S., Lipiäinen, L. & Saari, T. (2020). Työurien vakaus ja taantuma: yksityisen sektorin työntekijöiden työurapolut 2007–2015. [Career stability and recession: Private-sector employees’ career trajectories, 2007–2015]. Työelämän tutkimus – Arbetslivsforskning 18(2): 81–99.

Kalela, J., Kiander, J., Kivikuru, U., Loikkanen, H.A. & Simpura, J. (Eds.) (2001). Down from the Heavens, Up from the Ashes: The Finnish Economic Crisis of the 1990s in the Light of Economic and Social Research. Helsinki: Government Institute for Economic Research. https://www.doria.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/148630/j27-6.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Kalleberg, A.L. (2018). Precarious Lives: Job Insecurity and Well-Being in Rich Democracies. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Kalleberg, A.L. & Mouw, T. (2018). Occupations, organizations, and intergenerational career mobility. Annual Review of Sociology 44(1): 283–303. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-soc-073117-041249

Kauhanen, A. & Napari, S. (2011). Gender Differences in Careers. Discussion Papers No 1241. Helsinki: ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy. https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/dp1241.pdf [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Kerr, S., Maczulskij, T. & Maliranta, M. (2019). Within and Between Firm Trends in Job Polarization: The Roles of Globalization and Technology. Journal of Economic Geography. Online first. https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbz028

Kohli, M. (2007). The institutionalization of the life course: Looking back to look ahead. Research in Human Development 3(3/4): 253–271. https://doi.org/10.1080/15427600701663122

Kuitto, K., Salonen, J. & Helmdag, J. (2019). Gender inequalities in early career trajectories and parental leaves: Evidence from a Nordic welfare state. Social Sciences 8(9): 1–16. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/8/9/253 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

de Leeuw, E.D. & Lugtig, P. (2015). Dropouts in longitudinal surveys. In Wiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118445112.stat06661.pub2

Lehndorff, S., Dribbusch, H. & Schulten, T. (2018). European trade unions in a time of crises – An overview. In S. Lehndorff & H. Dribbusch & T. Schulten (Eds.) Rough Waters – European Trade Unions in a Time of Crises. Brussels: ETUI, 7–38. https://www.etui.org/Publications2/Books/Rough-waters-European-trade-unions-in-a-time-of-crises [retrieved 6 May 2020].

López-Andreu, M. & Rubery, J. (2018). Austerity and women’s employment trajectories in Spain and the UK: A comparison of two flexible labour markets. Economic and Industrial Democracy. Online first. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X18760988

Manzoni, A., Vermunt, J.K., Luijkx, R. & Muffels, R. (2010). Memory bias in retrospectively collected employment careers: A model based approach to correct for measurement error. Sociological Methodology 40(1): 39–73. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9531.2010.01230.x

Möhring, K. (2016). Life course regimes in Europe: Individual employment histories in comparative and historical perspective. Journal of European Social Policy 26(2): 124–139. https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928716633046

Nikulainen, T. & Pajarinen, M. (2013). Industry Restructuring in the ICT Sector. What Does Labor Mobility Tell Us About Skill Relatedness and Knowledge Spillovers? Helsinki: ETLA, Working Papers No 17. https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/ETLA-Working-Papers-17.pdf [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF 2017a). Labour force survey [e-publication]. Employment and Unemployment 2017, 2 Employment and unemployment in 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland. http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2017/13/tyti_2017_13_2018-04-12_kat_002_en.html [retrieved 20 October 2019].

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF 2017b). Educational structure of population [e-publication]. 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland. http://www.stat.fi/til/vkour/2017/vkour_2017_2018-11-02_tie_001_en.html [retrieved 20 October 2019].

Pavlopoulus, D. & Vermunt, J.K. (2015) Measuring temporary employment. Do survey or register data tell the truth? Survey Methodology 41(1): 197–214. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/12-001-x/2015001/article/14151-eng.pdf?st=DMRVU5fa [retrieved 13 September 2020].

Potter, J. (2015). Crisis at Work: Identity and the End of Career. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pyöriä, P. (2006). Understanding Work in the Age of Information: Finland in Focus. Tampere: Tampere University Press, Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1143. http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:951-44-6600-4 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Pyöriä, P. & Ojala, S. (2016). Precarious work and intrinsic job quality: Evidence from Finland, 1984–2013. The Economic and Labour Relations Review 27(3): 349–367. https://doi.org/10.1177/1035304616659190

Pyöriä, P., Ojala, S., Saari, T. & Järvinen, K-M. (2017). The millennial generation: A new breed of labour? SAGE Open 7(1): 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244017697158

Rasmussen, S., Nätti, J., Larsen, T.P., Ilsøe, A. & Garde, A.H. (2019) Nonstandard employment in the Nordics – Toward precarious work? Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 9(S6): 7–32. https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v9iS6.114689

Riekhoff, A-J. (2018). Extended working lives and late-career destabilisation: A longitudinal study of Finnish register data. Advances in Life Course Research 35(1): 114–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alcr.2018.01.007

Rokkanen, M. & Uusitalo, R. (2010). Changes in Job Stability – Evidence from Lifetime Job Histories. Working Papers 14. Helsinki: Government Institute for Economic Research. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-561-908-2 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Rubery, J., Keizer, A. & Grimshaw, D. (2016). Flexibility bites back: the multiple and hidden costs of flexible employment policies. Human Resource Management Journal 26(3): 235–251. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12092

Salvatori, A. (2018) The anatomy of job polarisation in the UK. Journal for Labour Market Research 52(8): 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12651-018-0242-z

Schellenberg, C., Krauss, A., Hättich, A. & Häfeli, K. (2016). Occupational career patterns over 30 years: predictors and outcomes. Empirical Research in Vocational Educational and Training 8(1): 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40461-016-0042-z

Soininen, T. (2015). Changing Expectations and Realities of Employment Stability – Longitudinal Analysis on Tenures in Finland. Joensuu: University of Eastern Finland, Dissertations in Social Sciences and Business Studies 102. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-61-1743-0 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Spitz-Oener, A. (2006). Technical change, job tasks, and rising educational demands: Looking outside the wage structure. Journal of Labor Economics 24(2): 235–270. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/499972 [retrieved 6 May 2020].

Statistics Finland (2004) Use of Registers and Administrative Data Sources for Statistical Purposes: Best Practices of Statistics Finland. Helsinki: Statistics Finland. https://www.doria.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/136324/xksk45_200400_2004_dig.pdf?sequence=1 [retrieved 13 September 2020].

Statistics Finland (2020) Table 12bq Population aged 15 or over by level of education and gender, 1970–2018. Statistics Finland’s PxWeb databases. http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/en/StatFin/StatFin__kou/ [retrieved 29 October 2020].

Stawarz, N. (2018). Patterns of intragenerational social mobility: An analysis of heterogeneity of occupational careers. Advances in Life Course Research 38(1): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alcr.2018.10.006

Studer, M. (2013). WeightedCluster Library Manual: A practical guide to creating typologies of trajectories in the social sciences with R. LIVES Working Papers, 24. https://doi.org/10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2013.24

Studer, M. & Ritschard, G. (2016). What matters in differences between life trajectories: A comparative review of sequence dissimilarity measures. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 179(2): 481–511. https://doi.org/10.1111/rssa.12125

Van Winkle, Z. & Fasang, A. (2017). Complexity in employment life courses in Europe in the Twentieth Century – Large cross-national differences but little change across birth cohorts. Social Forces 96(1): 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sox032

Published
2020-12-03
How to Cite
Ojala, S., Pyöriä, P., & Riekhoff, A.-J. (2020). Career Stability in 14 Finnish Industrial Employee Cohorts in 1988–2015. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.123167
Section
Articles