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Job matching: evidence from the Beveridge curve

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  • Robert G. Valletta
  • Jaclyn Hodges

Abstract

This Economic Letter examines the evidence on long-term shifts in the speed and efficiency of job matching in U.S. labor markets by using the so-called Beveridge curve. The Beveridge curve is an empirical measure of the relationship between the job vacancy rate and the unemployment rate. Changes in the job-matching process suggested by movements in the Beveridge curve, and their implications for U.S. labor market performance, have not been extensively analyzed, due in part to the absence of consistent data on job vacancies over a long time period. In this Economic Letter, we utilize new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to construct a long-term vacancy series and corresponding estimates of the Beveridge curve. We find that declining dispersion of economic growth across geographic regions helps explain improvements in the job-matching process since the mid-1980s and reinforces existing depictions of improved performance of the U.S. aggregate labor market in the 1990s (for example, Katz and Krueger 1999).

Suggested Citation

  • Robert G. Valletta & Jaclyn Hodges, 2006. "Job matching: evidence from the Beveridge curve," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue apr21.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2006:i:apr21:n:2006-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Shimer, 1999. "Why is the U.S. Unemployment Rate So Much Lower?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 11-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Katharine G. Abraham, 1987. "Help-Wanted Advertising, Job Vacancies, and Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 207-248.
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "The High-Pressure U.S. Labor Market of the 1990s," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 1-88.
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    Cited by:

    1. F. Bouvet, 2012. "The Beveridge curve in Europe: new evidence using national and regional data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(27), pages 3585-3604, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment ; Unemployment ; Labor market;

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