EBRI Studies Displaced Workers

February 19, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Research by an industry group shows that the current economic slump is certainly painful for many people, but it's not quite as bad in some respects as the early 1990s.

The study by The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that:

  • about 7.5 million employees or 6% of the workforce lost a job because of the slumping economy between 1997 and 1999, down from the 9.4 million workers or 8.2% of the population between 1993 and 1995,
  • some 35% of those who lost jobs during the 1993 to 1995 period attributed it to a plant closing or a plant relocation, compared to  42% between 1997 and 1999,
  • two fifths of those who lost jobs during the 1993 to 1995 time period say it happened because there wasn’t enough work, compared to(33% between 1997 and 1999, and
  • a quarter of respondents, over both periods, say it was due to a job shift or abolished job

The survey also revealed that:

  • in general, younger workers were more likely than older workers to experience a job displacement during the two time periods,
  • not all displaced workers will lose retirement benefits from their current job since they may not have any retirement benefits to begin with because of their age and tenure

The report uses estimates from the February 2000 Displaced Worker Survey supplement to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. EBRI officials say they hope their data will become part of the Congressional debate over economic stimulus bills.