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Real Wages and Hours in the Great Recession: Evidence from Firms and their Entry-Level Jobs

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  • Daniel Schaefer
  • Carl Singleton

Abstract

Using employer-employee panel data, we provide novel facts on how real wages and working hours within jobs responded to the UK’s Great Recession. In contrast to previous studies, our data enables us to address the cyclical composition of jobs. We show that firms were able to respond to the Great Recession with substantial real wage cuts and by recruiting more part-time workers. A one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate led to an average decline in real hourly wages of 2.8 per cent for new hires and 2.6 per cent for job stayers. Hours of new hires in entry-level jobs were also substantially procyclical, while job-stayer hours were nearly constant. Our findings suggest that models assuming rigid labour costs of new hires are not helpful for understanding the behaviour of unemployment over the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Schaefer & Carl Singleton, 2017. "Real Wages and Hours in the Great Recession: Evidence from Firms and their Entry-Level Jobs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6766, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6766
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6766.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Fongoni, 2018. "Workers' reciprocity and the (ir)relevance of wage cyclicality for the volatility of job creation," Working Papers 1809, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage rigidity; Great Recession; hours worked; job-level analysis;

    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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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