DEFINITION of 'Occupational Labor Mobility'

Refers to the ease with which workers can switch career fields to find gainful employment or meet labor needs. Higher levels of occupational labor mobility help to maintain strong employment and productivity levels, leading many governments to provide occupational retraining to help workers acquire necessary skills and expedite the process.

BREAKING DOWN 'Occupational Labor Mobility'

A lack of occupational labor mobility is often referred to as "golden handcuffs," meaning that higher paid workers with only one unique skill-set cannot quickly change career fields without a major financial adjustment. The ongoing struggles of the U.S. autoworker have provided a painful example of this, with many downsized workers not being able to find employment with compensation anywhere close to their previous levels.

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