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Changes in the structure and duration of U.S. unemployment, 1967-1998

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  • Robert G. Valletta

Abstract

The unemployment rate is determined by the incidence and duration of unemployment spells. In this paper, I examine the time-series properties of unemployment incidence by reason and the duration of a typical unemployment spell. In line with earlier research, I find strong countercyclicality in unemployment. However, I also uncover an upward trend in duration that is entirely attributable to rising incidence and duration of permanent job loss. These changes in the structure and duration of unemployment have various policy implications.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (1998)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 29-40

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1998:p:29-40:n:3

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Keywords: Unemployment;

References

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  1. George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
  2. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  3. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
  4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen W. Salant, 1974. "Search theory and duration data: a theory of sorts," Special Studies Papers 42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Valletta, Robert G, 1999. "Declining Job Security," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S170-97, October.
  7. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  8. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Brian G. M. Main, 1978. "Unemployment spells and unemployment experience," Special Studies Papers 123, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1991. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, And Unemployment Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert G. Valletta, 1998. "Declining job security," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Michael Baker & Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Labour Market Dynamics of Unemployment Rates in Canada and the United States," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 72-89, February.
  13. William J. Baumol & Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Speed of Technical Progress and Length of the Average Interjob Period," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_237, Levy Economics Institute.
  14. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1995. "Alternative Measures of the Average Duration of Unemployment," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995083e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  15. John V. Duca, 1996. "Inflation, unemployment, and duration," Working Papers 9603, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  16. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  17. Durbin, J, 1970. "Testing for Serial Correlation in Least-Squares Regression When Some of the Regressors are Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 410-21, May.
  18. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1987. "The Evolution of Unemployment in the United States: 1968 — 1985," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 11-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rob Valletta, 2002. "Recent trends in unemployment duration," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue nov22.
  2. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegl, 2009. "Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 200-209, March.
  3. Pedro Portugal, 2007. "U.S. Unemployment Duration: Has Long Become Longer or Short Become Shorter?," Working Papers 2007/17, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  4. Thomas B. King, 2005. "Labor productivity and job-market flows: trends, cycles, and correlations," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2005-04, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Della Lee Sue, 2008. "Unemployment Index: A Multidimensional Measure of Labor Market Efficiency," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 39(1), pages 44-69.

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