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This study aims to resolve the question of whether spatial flexibility, i.e. migration to a different labor market, gives rise to improved labor market outcomes among young college-educated individuals in the United States. Young graduates looking to improve their labor market performance may elect to search for jobs at a national, as opposed to a local, level. Using pooled cross-sectional data from the Current Population Survey’s March Supplements, we analyze the unemployment durations of young college graduates in the contexts of both spatial flexibility and the recent global recession. Results of Kaplan-Meier survival analysis suggest significant differences in unemployment duration for spatially flexible individuals, relative to the inflexible. Further, Cox proportional hazard modeling reveals differing effects in the presence of demographic and locational covariates. These results suggest a role for spatial flexibility in improving labor market outcomes among college graduates in their early careers.


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