November 2004

IZA DP No. 1378: The Use of Alternative Work Arrangements by the Jobless: Evidence from the CAEAS/CPS

published in: Journal of Labor Research, 2006, 27(2), 149-162

Alternative work arrangements (AWAs), such as contracting, consulting, and temporary work, have been criticized as providing only atypical, even precarious, employment. Yet they may also allow workers to locate suitable job matches. Exploiting data from all four Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangement Supplements to the Current Population Survey, we investigate the initial job-finding strategies pursued by the unemployed. Within the narrow window offered by the data, we find that unemployed workers who become reemployed are more likely to find work in AWAs than in regular, open-ended employment. When we evaluate the use of AWAs against unemployment, there is also evidence that the jobless are entering AWAs as pathways out of their initial labor market state.