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Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010

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  • Henry S. Farber
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    Abstract

    The Great Recession from December 2007 to June 2009 is associated with a dramatic weakening of the labor market from which the labor market is now only slowly recovering. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and durations of unemployment are unprecedentedly long. I use data from the Displaced Workers Survey (DWS) from 1984-2010 to investigate the incidence and consequences of job loss from 1981-2009. In particular, the January 2010 DWS, which captures job loss during the 2007-2009 period, provides a window through which to examine the experience of job losers in the Great Recession and to compare their experience to that of earlier job losers. These data show a record high rate of job loss, with almost one in six workers reporting having lost a job in the 2007-2009 period. The consequences of job loss are also very serious during this period with very low rates of reemployment, difficulty finding full-time employment, and substantial earnings losses.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17040.

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    Date of creation: May 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17040

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    1. Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "A review of the recent empirical literature on displaced workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 5-16, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kato, Takao, 2013. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and the Great Recession: Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-01, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Hilary Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers during Recessions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 27-48, Summer.
    3. Steven D. Mullins, 2012. "The Unemployment Impact of the 2008 Extension of Unemployment Insurance: As High as Robert Barro Suggested?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(1), pages 3-20, January.
    4. Nie, Jun & Fang, Lei, 2014. "Human capital dynamics and the U.S. labor market," Research Working Paper RWP 13-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    5. Christopher F. Goetz, 2013. "Falling House Prices And Labor Mobility: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 13-43, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2011. "How Did the Recession of 2007-2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?," Working Papers wp253, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    7. Richard B. Freeman, 2013. "Failing the Test? The Flexible U.S. Job Market in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Calvo, Guillermo & Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ottonello, Pablo, 2012. "The Labor Market Consequences of Financial Crises With or Without Inflation: Jobless and Wageless Recoveries," CEPR Discussion Papers 9218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Dennett, Julia, 2013. "Are American homeowners locked into their houses? The impact of housing market conditions on state-to-state migration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 322-337.
    10. Raviv, Alon & Sisli-Ciamarra, Elif, 2013. "Executive compensation, risk taking and the state of the economy," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-68.
    11. Shigeru Fujita, 2011. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Working Papers 11-44, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    12. Gina Livermore & Sarah Prenovitz & Jody Schimmel, 2011. "Employment-Related Outcomes of a Recent Cohort of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program Enrollees," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7169, Mathematica Policy Research.
    13. Gürbüz, Ayça Akarcay & Polat, Sezgin & Ulus, Mustafa, 2013. "In Limbo: Exploring transition to discouragement," GIAM Working Papers 13-4, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
    14. Lane Kenworthy & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States," GINI Country Reports united_states, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    15. Parsons, Donald O., 2013. "Understanding Severance Pay," IZA Discussion Papers 7641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Guillermo A. Calvo & Fabrizio Coricelli & Pablo Ottonello, 2012. "Labor Market, Financial Crises and Inflation: Jobless and Wageless Recoveries," NBER Working Papers 18480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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