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How well does employment predict output?

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  • Kevin L. Kliesen

Abstract

Economists, policymakers, and financial market analysts typically pay close attention to aggregate employment trends because employment is thought to be an important indicator of macroeconomic conditions. One difficulty is that there are two separate surveys of employment, which can diverge widely from one another, as the previous and current economic expansions demonstrate. The conventional wisdom is that, for assessing economic conditions, the survey that counts the number of jobs (establishment survey) is preferable to the survey that counts the number of people employed (household survey). However, results from a one-quarter-ahead forecasting exercise presented in this paper suggest that analysts should question whether employment is a useful indicator for predicting output growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin L. Kliesen, 2007. "How well does employment predict output?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 433-446.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2007:i:sep:p:433-446:n:v.89no.5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin L. Kliesen & Frank A. Schmid, 2006. "Macroeconomic news and real interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 133-144.
    2. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2001. "Tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing for nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 85-110, November.
    3. Kevin L. Kliesen & Frank A. Schmid, 2004. "Monetary policy actions, macroeconomic data releases, and inflation expectations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 9-22.
    4. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    5. Todd Clark & Michael McCracken, 2005. "Evaluating Direct Multistep Forecasts," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 369-404.
    6. Daniel Aaronson & Ellen R. Rissman & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2004. "Can sectoral reallocation explain the jobless recovery?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 36-39.
    7. Kathryn Koenders & Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Organizational dynamics over the business cycle: a view on jobless recoveries," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 555-580.
    8. Chinhui Juhn & Simon M. Potter, 1999. "Explaining the recent divergence in payroll and household employment growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Dec).
    9. George A. Kahn, 1993. "Sluggish job growth: is rising productivity or an anemic recovery to blame?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-25.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kurose, Kazuhiro, 2009. "The relation between the speed of demand saturation and the dynamism of the labour market," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 151-159, June.

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    Keywords

    Employment forecasting;

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