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Unemployment, labor costs, and recessions: implications for the inflation outlook

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Author Info

  • Kyle Fee
  • Mark E. Schweitzer

Abstract

Economists have been arguing about the connection between unemployment and infl ation for decades. Critics claim that the connection is unreliable and leads policymakers astray, while others argue that the relationship is useful for forecasting. We examine the more direct connections between elevated unemployment levels and the rate of increase in wage and labor costs, more generally. We fi nd that wage and labor cost growth has declined markedly following recent recessions. It has again declined sharply in the most recent recession. We also fi nd that compensation typically remains subdued during the initial phases of recent recoveries. This is again the case in the current recovery, making labor costs a significant restraining force on inflation going forward.

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File URL: http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/commentary/2011/2011-17.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its journal Economic Commentary.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): Sept ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcec:y:2011:i:sept7:n:2011-17

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Related research

Keywords: Recessions ; Inflation (Finance) ; Inflation targeting;

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