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The labor market in the Great Recession: an update

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Elsby
  • Bart Hobijn
  • Aysegul Sahin
  • Robert G. Valletta

Abstract

Since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009, the unemployment rate has recovered slowly, falling by only one percentage point from its peak. We find that the lackluster labor market recovery can be traced in large part to weakness in aggregate demand; only a small part seems attributable to increases in labor market frictions. This continued labor market weakness has led to the highest level of long-term unemployment in the U.S. in the postwar period, and a blurring of the distinction between unemployment and nonparticipation. We show that flows from nonparticipation to unemployment are important for understanding the recent evolution of the duration distribution of unemployment. Simulations that account for these flows suggest that the U.S. labor market is unlikely to be subject to high levels of structural long-term unemployment after aggregate demand recovers. ; Powerpoint supplement available at http://www.frbsf.org/economics/economists/wp11-29bk_supplement.pdf

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin & Robert G. Valletta, 2011. "The labor market in the Great Recession: an update," Working Paper Series 2011-29, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2011-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin & Robert Valletta, 2011. "A Rising Natural Rate of Unemployment: Transitory or Permanent?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-160/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elsby, Michael W.L. & Hobijn, Bart & Şahin, Ayşegül, 2015. "On the importance of the participation margin for labor market fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 64-82.
    2. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2017. "Underemployment in the Early Careers of College Graduates following the Great Recession," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 149-181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kyong Hyun Koo, 2016. "The Evolution of Earnings Volatility During and After the Great Recession," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 705-732, October.
    4. Nicholas Apergis & Ibrahim Arisoy, 2017. "Unemployment and labor force participation across the US States: new evidence from panel data," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 67(4), pages 45-84, October-D.
    5. Ronald Bachmann & Mathias Sinning, 2016. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 853-876, December.
    6. Costas KARFAKIS & Constantinos KATRAKILIDIS & Eftychia TSANANA, 2014. "Does output predict unemployment? A look at Okun's law in Greece," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 153(3), pages 421-433, September.
    7. Robert E. Hall & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2018. "Measuring Job-Finding Rates and Matching Efficiency with Heterogeneous Job-Seekers," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, January.
    8. Andreas I. Mueller, 2017. "Separations, Sorting, and Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 2081-2107, July.
    9. Sedláček, Petr, 2014. "Match efficiency and firms' hiring standards," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 123-133.
    10. Arpaia, Alfonso & Kiss, Aron & Turrini, Alessandro, 2014. "Is Unemployment Structural or Cyclical? Main Features of Job Matching in the EU after the Crisis," IZA Policy Papers 91, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Bellmann Lutz & Hübler Olaf, 2014. "The Skill Shortage in German Establishments Before, During and After the Great Recession," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(6), pages 800-828, December.
    12. Fujita, Shigeru, 2018. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-19.
    13. Andreas Hornstein, 2012. "Accounting for unemployment: the long and short of it," Working Paper 12-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    14. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Mototsugu Shintani & Kazuhiro Teramoto, 2018. "Cyclical Part-Time Employment in an Estimated New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Working Papers gueconwpa~18-18-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    15. Khalifa, Sherif, 2015. "Learning-by-doing and unemployment dynamics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 180-187.
    16. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market; Recessions;

    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
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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