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Job turnover, at the level of an individual establishment or firm, is simply the net change in employment between two points in time – the total number of jobs created less the number of jobs which have disappeared.

It does not include job vacancies which remain unfilled and jobs that begin and end over the interval of observation, which is most often one year.

Comparing employment levels at two points in time permits establishments or firms to be classified into four groups:

i. opening, i.e. those with no employment at the beginning and employment at the end;

ii. closing, i.e. those with employment recorded at the beginning and none at the end;

iii. expanding, i.e. those with employment in both periods, but at a higher level at the end;

iv. contracting, i.e. those with employment in both periods , but at a lower level at the end.

Summing net employment changes over opening and expanding establishments gives job gains, while the sum of employment declines from closing and contracting establishments gives job losses. The balance of job gains and job losses is then job turnover.

Source Publication:
OECD Employment Outlook, July 1996, Chapter 5, Employment adjustment, workers and unemployment, page 165.

Cross References:
Economy-wide job turnover rate
Job tenure
Labour turnover

Statistical Theme: Labour statistics

Created on Thursday, May 2, 2002

Last updated on Thursday, March 6, 2003