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Forecasting US employment growth using forecast combining methods

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  • David E. Rapach

    (Department of Economics, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63108-3397, USA)

  • Jack K. Strauss

    (Department of Economics, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63108-3397, USA)

Abstract

We examine different approaches to forecasting monthly US employment growth in the presence of many potentially relevant predictors. We first generate simulated out-of-sample forecasts of US employment growth at multiple horizons using individual autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) models based on 30 potential predictors. We then consider different methods from the extant literature for combining the forecasts generated by the individual ARDL models. Using the mean square forecast error (MSFE) metric, we investigate the performance of the forecast combining methods over the last decade, as well as five periods centered on the last five US recessions. Overall, our results show that a number of combining methods outperform a benchmark autoregressive model. Combining methods based on principal components exhibit the best overall performance, while methods based on simple averaging, clusters, and discount MSFE also perform well. On a cautionary note, some combining methods, such as those based on ordinary least squares, often perform quite poorly. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Rapach & Jack K. Strauss, 2008. "Forecasting US employment growth using forecast combining methods," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 75-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:27:y:2008:i:1:p:75-93 DOI: 10.1002/for.1051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Massimiliano Kaucic, 2009. "Predicting EU Energy Industry Excess Returns on EU Market Index via a Constrained Genetic Algorithm," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 173-193, September.
    2. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi & Stephen Miller & Josine Uwilingiye, 2014. "Using large data sets to forecast sectoral employment," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 23(2), pages 229-264, June.
    3. Rapach, David E. & Strauss, Jack K., 2009. "Differences in housing price forecastability across US states," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 351-372.
    4. Burcu Gurcihan Yunculer & Gonul Sengul & Arzu Yavuz, 2014. "A Quest for Leading Indicators of the Turkish Unemployment Rate," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 14(1), pages 23-45.
    5. Mayr, Johannes, 2010. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Aggregates," Munich Dissertations in Economics 11140, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Rapach, David E. & Strauss, Jack K., 2012. "Forecasting US state-level employment growth: An amalgamation approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 315-327.
    7. Andrea BASTIANIN & Marzio GALEOTTI & Matteo MANERA, 2011. "Forecast evaluation in call centers: combined forecasts, flexible loss functions and economic criteria," Departmental Working Papers 2011-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Artur Tarassow, 2017. "Forecasting growth of U.S. aggregate and household-sector M2 after 2000 using economic uncertainty measures," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201702, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
    9. Zhang, Xinyu & Lu, Zudi & Zou, Guohua, 2013. "Adaptively combined forecasting for discrete response time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 80-91.
    10. Wei, Xiaoqiao & Yang, Yuhong, 2012. "Robust forecast combinations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 224-236.
    11. Jordan, Steven J. & Vivian, Andrew & Wohar, Mark E., 2017. "Forecasting market returns: bagging or combining?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 102-120.
    12. Thomadakis, Apostolos, 2016. "Do Combination Forecasts Outperform the Historical Average? Economic and Statistical Evidence," MPRA Paper 71589, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Nikolaos D. Geomelos & Evangelos Xideas, 2014. "Ex-Post and Ex-Ante Forecasts of Spot Prices in Bulk Shipping in a Period of Economic Crisis using Simultaneous Equation Models," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 64(2), pages 14-39, April-Jun.
    14. Jordan, Steven J. & Vivian, Andrew & Wohar, Mark E., 2016. "Can commodity returns forecast Canadian sector stock returns?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 172-188.

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