Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Measurement of Unemployment: An Empirical Approach

Contents:

Author Info

  • Stephen R. G. Jones
  • W. Craig Riddell

Abstract

Although the unemployment rate is one of the most widely cited and closely monitored economic statistics, the definition and measurement of unemployment remain controversial. An important issue is whether non-employed persons who display a marginal attachment to the labor force (for example, those who are available for and desire work but are not searching for work) should be classified as unemployed or non-participants. Although this issue has been extensively debated, it has never been tested empirically. This paper carries out empirical tests of this and related hypotheses using a unique longitudinal data set from Canada. We find within the marginally attached a "waiting" group whose behavior indicates that they would be more appropriately classified as unemployed rather than out-of-the-labor force. The remainder of the marginally attached exhibit behavior between that of the unemployed and the balance of non-participants, suggesting that the desire for work among non-searchers conveys substantial information about labor force attachment and future employment status. Our methods also apply to heterogeneity within the unemployed, and we investigate behavioral variation linked to differences in job search methods and reasons for entry into unemployment. Although those using "passive" job search do exhibit behavior somewhat distinct from "active" searchers, our results reject the practice of classifying passive job searchers as out-of-the-labor force. Overall, our results indicate that the non-employed are very heterogeneous, so that any single division into "unemployment" and "out-of-the-labor force" is unlikely to fully capture the variety of degrees of labor force attachment.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 67 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 147-162

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:67:y:1999:i:1:p:147-162

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Email:
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:
Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/memb.asp?ref=0012-9682

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-38, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:67:y:1999:i:1:p:147-162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.