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Journal Article

Unstable jobs and time out of work: evidence from the UK


Publication date

15 Mar 2022


This article tests the hypothesis that unstable jobs with variable hours or pay enhance the job-finding chances of the working-age non-employed in the UK, by using a combination of the UK Household Longitudinal Study and the Labour Force Survey data and a discrete time model. We find no evidence on the share of unstable jobs in the non-employed person’s local labour market impacts on the probability to move into employment. This result holds both for men and women and for groups with low employability such as the low educated and the long-term unemployed. It is robust to alternative ways of defining unstable jobs and to the inclusion of unobserved heterogeneity. Overall, findings cast doubt on the importance of unstable jobs for employment creation in the UK.

Published in

Socio-Economic Review





Area Effects, Regional Economics, Labour Market, Labour Economics, Unemployment, Public Policy, and Wages And Earnings


Open Access; © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.; Online Early


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