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Gross Job Flows over the Past Two Business Cycles: Not all 'Recoveries' are Created Equal


  • R. Jason Faberman

    () (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


I compare the behavior of job creation and job destruction over the past two economic downturns. Both periods have brief but sharp rises in job destruction followed by flat net job growth. The dynamics underlying these slow recoveries differ drastically. In 1991-92, job destruction is slow to decline. In 2001, job creation falls dramatically and remains persistently low through 2003. I find this trend qualitatively similar in both manufacturing and service industries. I also find that neither a structural shift of jobs across industries nor increased trade liberalization is a consistent explanation for the recent lack of growth. Instead, the evidence suggests that a large drop in business investment may explain the decline in job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Jason Faberman, 2004. "Gross Job Flows over the Past Two Business Cycles: Not all 'Recoveries' are Created Equal," Working Papers 372, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec040020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 2000. "Job Flows, Worker Flows, and Churning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 473-502, July.
    2. 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, July.
    3. 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).
    4. Christopher L. Foote, 1998. "Trend Employment Growth and the Bunching of Job Creation and Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 809-834.
    5. Klein, Michael W. & Schuh, Scott & Triest, Robert K., 2003. "Job creation, job destruction, and the real exchange rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 239-265, March.
    6. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:26:y:1994:i:1994-3:p:177-248 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Jason Faberman, 2009. "Studying the Labor Market with the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 83-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Helge Braun & Reinout De Bock & Riccardo DiCecio, 2006. "Aggregate shocks and labor market fluctuations," Working Papers 2006-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Fujita, Shigeru & Ramey, Garey, 2007. "Job matching and propagation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3671-3698, November.
    4. Lurweg, Maren, 2010. "Perceived job insecurity, unemployment risk and international trade: A micro-level analysis of employees in German service industries," CAWM Discussion Papers 32, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    5. Reinout De Bock, 2007. "Investment-Specific Technology Shocks and Labor Market Frictions," Working Paper Research 108, National Bank of Belgium.
    6. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:51:y:2006:i:03:n:s0217590806002482 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
    8. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2005. "The Dynamic Beveridge Curve," Macroeconomics 0509026, EconWPA.
    9. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John C., 2005. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources, Micro-Macro Links and the Recent Downturn," IZA Discussion Papers 1639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Helge Braun & Reinout De Bock & Riccardo DiCecio, 2009. "Supply shocks, demand shocks, and labor market fluctuations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 155-178.
    11. Brian Silverstone & Will Bell, 2011. "Gross Labour Market Flows in New Zealand: Some Questions and Answers," Working Papers in Economics 11/15, University of Waikato.
    12. Lurweg, Maren & Uhde, Nicole, 2010. "International trade and individual labour market perspectives: A micro-level analysis of German manufacturing workers," CAWM Discussion Papers 31, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).

    More about this item


    job reallocation; business cycles; employment fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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