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Smooth transition or permanent exit? Evidence on job prospects of displaced industrial workers
This article examines the job prospects of displaced industrial workers in Switzerland. Based on a survey of 1,203 workers who were dismissed after their manufacturing plants closed down, we analyse the determinants of re-employment, the sector of re-employment and the change in wages. Two years after displacement, a majority of workers were back in employment: 69% were re-employed, 17% un-employed and 11% retired. Amongst re-employed workers, two thirds found a job in manufacturing and one third in services. Contrary to a common belief, low-end services are not the collecting vessel of redundant industrial workers. Displaced workers aged 55 and older seem particularly vulnerable after a plant closes down: over 30% were long-term unemployed, and those older workers who found a new job suffered disproportionate wage losses. Advanced age-and not low education-appears as the primary handicap after mass redundancy.
unemployment, manufacturing, labour markets, wages, political economy, economic sociology
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