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Tag Archives: labor market

How Have Households Used Their Stimulus Payments and How Would They Spend the Next?

Olivier Armantier, Leo Goldman, Gizem Koşar, Jessica Lu, Rachel Pomerantz, and Wilbert van der Klaauw In this post, we examine how households used economic impact payments, a large component of the CARES Act signed into law on March 27 that directed stimulus payments to many Americans to help offset the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. An important question in evaluating how much this part of the CARES Act stimulated the economy concerns what share of...

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How Did State Reopenings Affect Small Businesses?

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Sebastian Heise, Davide Melcangi, Maxim Pinkovskiy, and Giorgio Topa In our previous post, we looked at the effects that the reopening of state economies across the United States has had on consumer spending. We found a significant effect of reopening, especially regarding spending in restaurants and bars as well as in the healthcare sector. In this companion post, we focus specifically on small businesses, using two different sources of high-frequency data,...

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Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz Many students are reconsidering their decision to go to college in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, college enrollment is expected to be down sharply as a growing number of would-be college students consider taking a gap year. In part, this pullback reflects concerns about health and safety if colleges resume in-person classes, or missing out on the “college experience” if classes are held online. In addition, poor labor market...

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Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy

Jaison R. Abel, Jason Bram, Richard Deitz, and Benjamin G. Hyman The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s June business surveys show some signs of improvement in the regional economy. Following two months of unprecedented decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, indicators of business activity point to a slower pace of contraction in the service sector and signs of a rebound in the manufacturing sector. Even more encouraging, as the regional economy has begun to reopen, many...

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Job Training Mismatch and the COVID-19 Recovery: A Cautionary Note from the Great Recession

Benjamin G. Hyman and Karen X. Ni Displaced workers have been shown to endure persistent losses years beyond their initial job separation events. These losses are especially amplified during recessions. (1) One explanation for greater persistence in downturns relative to booms, is that firms and industries on the margin of structural change permanently shift the types of tasks and occupations demanded after a large negative shock (Aghion et al. (2005)), but these new occupations...

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Translating Weekly Jobless Claims into Monthly Net Job Losses

Jason Bram and Fatih Karahan News headlines highlighting the loss of at least 30 million jobs (so far) underscore the massive shock that has hit the U.S. economy and the dislocation, hardship, and stress it has caused for so many American workers. But how accurately does this number actually capture the number of net job losses? In this post, we look at some of the statistical anomalies and quirks in the weekly claims series and offer a guide to interpreting these numbers. What we...

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The Coronavirus Shock Looks More like a Natural Disaster than a Cyclical Downturn

Jason Bram and Richard Deitz It’s tempting to compare the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to prior business cycle downturns, particularly the Great Recession. However, such comparisons may not be particularly apt—as evidenced by the unprecedented surge in initial jobless claims over the past three weeks. Recessions typically develop gradually over time, reflecting underlying economic and financial conditions, whereas the current economic situation developed suddenly as...

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How Does Credit Access Affect Job-Search Outcomes and Sorting?

Kyle Herkenhoff and Gordon Phillips How does access to consumer credit affect the job finding behavior of displaced workers? Are these workers looking for jobs at larger and more productive firms? What is the impact of consumer credit on the amount of time it takes to find a job? In recent work with Ethan Cohen-Cole we explore these questions by building a new data set of individual credit reports (from TransUnion) merged with administrative earnings data. We describe our approach...

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Searching for Higher Job Satisfaction

Gizem Kosar, Leo Goldman, and Kyle Smith Job-to-job transitions—those job moves that occur without an intervening spell of unemployment—have been discussed in the literature as a driver of wage growth. Economists typically describe the labor market as a “job ladder” that workers climb by moving to jobs with higher pay, stronger wage growth, and better benefits. It is important, however, that these transitions not be interspersed with periods of unemployment, both because such...

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Is the Tide Lifting All Boats? A Closer Look at the Earnings Growth Experiences of U.S. Workers

René Chalom, Fatih Karahan, Brendan Moore, and Giorgio Topa The growth rate of hourly earnings is a widely used indicator to assess the economic progress of U.S. workers, as well as the health of the labor market. It is also a measure of wage pressures that could potentially spill over into inflationary pressures in a tightening labor market. Hourly earnings growth, on average, has gradually risen over the course of the current expansion, under way since the end of the Great...

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