January 2016

IZA DP No. 9631: The Puzzling Fixity of Multiple Job Holding across Regions and Labor Markets

published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2017, 84 (1), 26-51

Multiple job holding rates differ substantially across U.S. regions, states, and metropolitan areas. Rates decrease markedly with respect to labor market size. These patterns have been largely overlooked, despite being relatively fixed over (at least) the 1998-2014 period. This paper explores explanations for these persistent differences. We account for over half of the mean absolute deviation in multiple job holding across local labor markets (MSAs). Most important in explaining variation in multiple job holding are worker characteristics, commute times, MSA ancestry shares, and, to a lesser extent, labor market churn. City size accounts for little of the variation once we condition on commute times.