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Hiring, job loss, and the severity of recessions


  • R. Jason Faberman


The hiring and firing decisions of individual businesses are one of the drivers behind movements in the unemployment rate during expansions and recessions. Whether a recession is driven by large job losses or weak hiring will greatly affect the composition and consequences of the unemployed and can have important policy implications. The extent to which recessions are times of weak hiring or high job loss depends in large part on the severity of the downturn. A recession is a time when the fraction of businesses that are expanding goes down and the fraction of businesses that are contracting goes up. A severe recession is one in which the shift in this distribution is more dramatic. In "Hiring, Job Loss, and the Severity of Recessions," Jason Faberman discusses how the severity of a recession determines whether high job loss or weak hiring will be the more important source of declining employment and rising unemployment through disproportionate changes in the distribution of business-level employment growth.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Jason Faberman, 2010. "Hiring, job loss, and the severity of recessions," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 16-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2010:i:q2:p:16-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    2. 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.
    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, May.
    4. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
    5. Shigeru Fujita, 2007. "What do worker flows tell us about cyclical fluctuations in employment?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 1-10.
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    Recessions ; Unemployment;


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