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Heterogeneity in sectoral employment and the business cycle

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  • Nadezhda Malysheva
  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte

Abstract

Using a factor analytic framework, we show that employment variations differ significantly across sectors. In some sectors, notably in goods production, employment movements are driven almost entirely by aggregate shocks. Because aggregate shocks drive business cycles (i.e., sector-specific shocks tend to average out), these sectors are then particularly sensitive to these cycles. In other sectors, mainly in service-providing activities, employment variations are virtually unrelated to aggregate shocks and instead result almost exclusively from sector-specific shocks. This heterogeneity in sectoral employment movements suggests that agents working in different sectors of the U.S. economy are affected in very different ways by changes in the economic environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadezhda Malysheva & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 2009. "Heterogeneity in sectoral employment and the business cycle," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 335-355.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2009:i:fall:p:335-355:n:v.95no.4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2011. "Sectoral versus Aggregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-38.
    2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
    3. John Shea, 1995. "Complementarities and Comovements," NBER Working Papers 5305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-433, May.
    5. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, May.
    6. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 453-473.
    7. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    8. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jed Armstrong & Günes Kamber & Özer Karagedikli, 2016. "Developing a labour utilisation composite index for New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2016/04, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    2. Nath, Hiranya K., 2016. "A note on the cyclical behavior of sectoral employment in the U.S," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 52-61.

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    Keywords

    Employment;

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