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The Trend is the Cycle: Job Polarization and Jobless Recoveries

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  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Henry E. Siu

Abstract

Job polarization refers to the recent shrinking concentration of employment in occupations in the middle of the skill distribution. Jobless recoveries refers to the slow rebound in aggregate employment following recent recessions, despite recoveries in aggregate output. We show how these two phenomena are related. First, essentially all employment loss in middle-skill occupations occurs in economic downturns; in this sense, job polarization has an important cyclical component. Second, jobless recoveries in the aggregate are accounted for by jobless recoveries in the middle-skill occupations that are disappearing.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18334.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18334

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  1. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  2. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2003. "A closer look at jobless recoveries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-73.
  3. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009. "The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, 05.
  4. Erica L. Groshen & Simon Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
  5. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. James Costain & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance and the Calibration of Matching Models," Working Papers 215, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 2012. "Occupational tasks and changes in the wage structure," Textos para discussão 284, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  10. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  11. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  12. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2009. "Job Polarization in Europe," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 58-63, May.
  13. Martin Gervais & Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu & Yaniv Yedid-Levi, 2013. "Technological Learning and Labor Market Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 19767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Fernando Rios-Avila, 2012. "A closer look at nonparticipants during and after the Great Recession," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2012-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Paul Gaggl & Gregg C Wright, 2014. "A Short-Run View of What Computers Do: Evidence from a UK Tax Incentive," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 752, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. Didem Tüzemen & Jonathan Willis, 2013. "The vanishing middle: job polarization and workers’ response to the decline in middle-skill jobs," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-32.
  4. Jochen Hartwig, 2014. "Testing Okun’s Law with Swiss Industry Data," KOF Working papers 14-357, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  5. Henry R. Hyatt & James Spletzer, 2013. "The Recent Decline in Employment Dynamics," Working Papers 13-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Maria E. Canon & Mingyu Chen & Elise A. Marifian, 2013. "Labor mismatch in the Great Recession: a review of indexes using recent U.S. data," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 237-272.
  7. Federico Mandelman, 2013. "Labor Market Polarization and International Macroeconomic Dynamics," 2013 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 291, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Aysegul Sahin & Stefania Albanesi, 2013. "Jobless Recoveries and Gender Biased Technological Change," 2013 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 985, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Paul Beadry & Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Ben Sand, 2013. "The great reversal in the demand for skill and cognitive tasks," STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE 22, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  10. Christopher L. Smith, 2013. "The dynamics of labor market polarization," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 2013-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Holzer, Harry J. & Dunlop Velez, Erin, 2013. "Just the Facts, Ma'am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Andrei Zlate & Federico Mandelman, 2013. "Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration and Labor Market Polarization," 2013 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 1073, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Consoli,Davide & Vona,Francesco & Rentocchini,Francesco, 2014. "That was then, this is now: Skills and Routinization in the 2000s," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201306, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
  14. Anghel, Brindusa & de la Rica, Sara & Lacuesta, Aitor, 2013. "Employment Polarization in Spain along the Cycle 1997-2012," IZA Discussion Papers 7816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Maliranta, Mika, 2013. "Globalization, occupational restructuring and firm performance," ETLA Working Papers, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy 5, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  16. Martin, Fernando M., 2014. "Labor market update," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue 7, pages 1-2.
  17. Christopher L. Foote & Richard W. Ryan, 2012. "Labor-market polarization over the business cycle," Public Policy Discussion Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 12-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  18. Francis, Neville & Jackson, Laura E. & Owyang, Michael T., 2013. "Countercyclical policy and the speed of recovery after recessions," Working Papers 2013-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Jan 2014.
  19. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2012. "Job polarization and rising inequality in the nation and the New York-northern New Jersey region," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 18(Oct).

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