Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 93–115 | Cite as

Midlife and older displaced workers: A comparison of predisplacement and new earnings

  • Jan L. B. Bowman
  • Glennis M. Couchman
  • Suzanne W. Cole


The economic consequences of business closings and worker layoffs are of great concern to today's work force. The study compares earnings of 755 workers previous to displacement to 422 displaced workers with new earnings. Variables are identified using the data supplement of the 1988Current Populations Survey: Displaced Workers. Displaced workers employed in professional and white-collar positions have more favorable predisplacement earnings and new earnings than workers from other job sectors, but displaced workers who are homeowners and those who have health care coverage before and following job displacement have a decline in earnings. Displaced workers with some high school education and workers with 30 to 39 years of job tenure also experience decreased wages. Overall, displacement of American workers stifles the economy and negatively influences the human capital of the nation's work force.

Key Words

displaced workers human capital midlife new earnings older workers 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan L. B. Bowman
    • 1
  • Glennis M. Couchman
    • 2
  • Suzanne W. Cole
    • 3
  1. 1.275 Carson-Taylor Hall, College of Human EcologyLouisiana Tech UniversityRuston
  2. 2.Family and Consumer Economics, 336 Human Environmental Sciences, College of Human Environmental SciencesOklahoma State UniversityStillwater
  3. 3.Family Management and Consumer Studies, 269 Carson-Taylor Hall, College of Human EcologyLoursiana Tech UniversityRuston

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