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The cyclical sensitivity of seasonality in U.S. employment

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  • Spencer D. Krane
  • William L. Wascher

Abstract

There is a growing recognition in the literature on business cycles that production technologies may give rise to complicated interactions between seasonal and cyclical movements in economic time series, which can distort business cycle inference based on seasonally adjusted data. For the most part, however, the empirical research in this area has relied on standard univariate seasonal adjustment techniques that provide only a partial description of such interactions. In this paper, we develop an unobserved components model that explicitly accounts for the effects of business cycles on industry-level seasonality and for the potential feedback from seasonality to the aggregate business cycle. In particular, the model extracts an aggregate "common cycle" from industry-level data, allows formal statistical testing of seasonal differences in the comovement of an industry with the common cycle, and identifies economy-wide and industry-specific contributions to the seasonal and non-seasonal variation in the data. Applying the model to quarterly US payroll employment data, we frequently find evidence of statistically significant differences across seasons in the comovement between sectoral employment and the common cycle. On the other hand, we also find that seasonal fluctuations in employment at the industry level are largely idiosyncratic and that the proportion of the total variance of the common cycle accounted for by seasonality is much less than for aggregate employment. This suggests that seasonal shocks may have less of a business cycle element to them than one might infer from the seasonal movements in aggregate variables.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Spencer D. Krane & William L. Wascher, 1995. "The cyclical sensitivity of seasonality in U.S. employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:95-43
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dick van Dijk 1 & Birgit Strikholm & Timo Teräsvirta, 2003. "The effects of institutional and technological change and business cycle fluctuations on seasonal patterns in quarterly industrial production series," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 6(1), pages 79-98, June.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2010. "Does Labor Supply Matter During a Recession? Evidence from the Seasonal Cycle," NBER Working Papers 16357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yoshito Funashima, 2012. "The effects of public investment smoothing as a stimulus measure on construction industry in Japan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1992-2006.
    4. Irma Hindrayanto & Jan Jacobs & Denise Osborn, 2014. "On trend-cycle-seasonal interactions," DNB Working Papers 417, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Antonio Matas-Mir & Denise R. Osborn & Marco J. Lombardi, 2008. "The effect of seasonal adjustment on the properties of business cycle regimes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 257-278.
    6. Matas-Mir, Antonio & Osborn, Denise R., 2004. "Does seasonality change over the business cycle? An investigation using monthly industrial production series," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1309-1332, December.
    7. Siem Jan Koopman & Marius Ooms & Irma Hindrayanto, 2009. "Periodic Unobserved Cycles in Seasonal Time Series with an Application to US Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(5), pages 683-713, October.
    8. Miron, Jeffrey A & Beaulieu, J Joseph, 1996. "What Have Macroeconomists Learned about Business Cycles form the Study of Seasonal Cycles?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 54-66, February.
    9. Marcelo Veracierto, 2005. "Seasonal monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 49-68.
    10. A Matas-Mir & D R Osborn, 2003. "Seasonal Adjustment and the Detection of Business Cycle Phases," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0304, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    11. Stephen Bazen & Velayoudom Marimoutou, 2000. "Looking for a Needle in a Haystack? A Structural Time Series Model of the Relationship Between Teenage Employment and Minimum Wages in the United States," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0495, Econometric Society.
    12. Franses,Philip Hans & Dijk,Dick van & Opschoor,Anne, 2014. "Time Series Models for Business and Economic Forecasting," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521817707.

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    Keywords

    Employment (Economic theory);

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