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The shadow labor supply and its implications for the unemployment rate

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  • Davig, Troy A.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Mustre-del-Rio, Jose

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

Abstract

In the wake of the Great Recession there has been a sharp rise in the number of people who indicate they want a job, but are not actively seeking one. This group, on the periphery of the labor market, may be viewed as a "shadow labor supply." Since they are not actively seeking work, they are not counted by the government as unemployed and not considered part of the labor force. But if many start seeking jobs as the economy recovers, the unemployment rate could rise or at least slow its descent. Davig and Mustre-del-Río analyze possible flow rates from this group and other non-employed groups into employment or into official unemployment. They find the shadow labor supply will likely affect the unemployment rate only modestly, but potential variation in labor market participation among the entire non-employed population may have greater impact.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 5-29

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:00008

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Keywords: Shadow labor supply; Labor supply; Unemployment;

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  1. Regis Barnichon & Christopher J. Nekarda, 2012. "The Ins and Outs of Forecasting Unemployment: Using Labor Force Flows to Forecast the Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 83-131.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael W.L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegül Sahin, 2013. "On the importance of the participation margin for market fluctuations," Working Paper Series 2013-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  6. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
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