Job-related spatial mobility trajectories and their association with social structure: evidence from Germany

Thomas Skora, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Gil Viry, Lancaster University
Heiko Rüger, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

Job-related spatial mobility has become a widespread phenomenon in contemporary European societies. In the „Job Mobilities and Family Lives in Europe” study dealing with a broad concept of mobility that involves types of circular mobility (e.g. long distance commuting, frequent stays overnight) as well as types of relocation mobility (migration, residential relocation), job-related mobility presents itself as a very common element of occupational life in Europe: 16% of people working for pay are currently mobile for job reasons. All in all, around half of the people working for pay have gained experience with mobility. The research on migration and mobility has been enriched by placing it within the framework of the life course. However, regarding the state of mobility research in a life course perspective, two desiderata can be stated. Firstly, the majority of mobility research focuses on discrete events in life course, neglecting to capture and describe whole trajectories. Secondly, to our knowledge there are no studies up to now focusing on job-related spatial mobility trajectories, considering different types of relocation and circular mobility. Our aim is to fill this gap by extracting entire trajectories of occupation and job-related spatial mobility, applying sequence analysis techniques on data from Germany providing detailed information about past job events and experiences with different types of job-induced spatial mobility. Subsequently, associations between mobility trajectories and socio-structural characteristics are analyzed, complementing existing findings of cross-sectional research by applying longitudinal information. For example, the traditional assumption that spatial mobility is positively associated with economic gain can only be partly confirmed. According to our results, it depends on the length and continuity of employment and spatial mobility periods, as well as on the dominant form of mobility in the life course.

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Presented in Session 100: Modelling internal migration