The Transition to Stable Employment: The Experience of U.S. Youth in Their Early Labor Market Career

J. A. Klerman, L. A. Karoly

This report uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey--Youth (NLS-Y) to examine the dynamics of the labor market experiences of young people entering the labor market. The report confirms the conventional wisdom that young people hold a large number of jobs; however, the analysis shows that, by their early twenties, most young people have entered stable employment. While there may be problems with the skills of labor market entrants, most young people are successfully finding jobs that yield long-term employment relations. The experience of the average youth, however, hides important subgroup differences. The results suggest that efforts to improve the school-to-work transition need to focus on those specific groups who fare worst in their early labor market career--most notably, high school dropouts.

MDS-764 / July 1995

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