Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The ins and outs of forecasting unemployment: Using labor force flows to forecast the labor market

Contents:

Author Info

  • Regis Barnichon
  • Christopher J. Nekarda

Abstract

This paper presents a forecasting model of unemployment based on labor force ows data that, in real time, dramatically outperforms the Survey of Professional Forecasters, historical forecasts from the Federal Reserve Board's Greenbook, and basic time-series models. Our model's forecast has a root-mean-squared error about 30 percent below that of the next-best forecast in the near term and performs especially well surrounding large recessions and cyclical turning points. Further, because our model uses information on labor force ows that is likely not incorporated by other forecasts, a combined forecast including our model's forecast and the SPF forecast yields an improvement over the latter alone of about 35 percent for current-quarter forecasts, and 15 percent for next-quarter forecasts, as well as improvements at longer horizons.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2013/201319/201319abs.html
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2013/201319/201319pap.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-19.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-19

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/fedsorder.html

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2008. "The ins and outs of European unemployment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3658, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Golan, Amos & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 2002. "Superior forecasts of the U.S. unemployment rate using a nonparametric method," CUDARE Working Paper Series 956, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  4. Bruce Fallick & Jonathan Pingle, 2006. "A cohort-based model of labor force participation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1, October.
  6. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Baghestani, Hamid, 2008. "Federal Reserve versus private information: Who is the best unemployment rate predictor," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 101-110.
  8. Rothman, Philip, 1991. "Further evidence on the asymmetric behavior of unemployment rates over the business cycle," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 291-298.
  9. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
  10. Barnichon, Regis, 2012. "Vacancy posting, job separation and unemployment fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 315-330.
  11. Charles A. Fleischman & John M. Roberts, 2011. "From many series, one cycle: improved estimates of the business cycle from a multivariate unobserved components model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Milas, Costas & Rothman, Philip, 2008. "Out-of-sample forecasting of unemployment rates with pooled STVECM forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 101-121.
  13. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
  14. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Introductory pages to "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting"," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting, pages -23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Laura Brown & Saeed Moshiri, 2004. "Unemployment variation over the business cycles: a comparison of forecasting models," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 497-511.
  16. George L. Perry, 1972. "Unemployment Flows in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 245-292.
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:
  1. Murat Tasci, 2012. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment in the Long Run: Unemployment Flows and the Natural Rate," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1233, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  2. Hyatt, Henry R. & Spletzer, James R., 2013. "The Recent Decline in Employment Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 7231, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Francesco D'Amuri & Juri Marcucci, 2012. "The predictive power of Google searches in forecasting unemployment," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 891, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Davig, Troy A. & Mustre-del-Rio, Jose, 2013. "The shadow labor supply and its implications for the unemployment rate," Macro Bulletin, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 1-2, August.
  5. Christopher L. Smith, 2013. "The dynamics of labor market polarization," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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:fip:fedgfe:2013-19. 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: (Kris Vajs).

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.